By Aaron Humes: Supreme Court Justice Lisa Shoman has ruled for damages of $185,000 to former Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow for breaches of his rights by the Commission of Inquiry on the Sale of Assets.
Barrow, represented by niece Naima Barrow, was questioned as a witness to respond about transactions while he was Minister of Finance. But the court ruled he had not been granted due process to respond to the Commission’s findings in its final report.
$125,000 must be paid in compensatory damages and $65,000 in vindicatory damages.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Hugo Patt was previously awarded $145,000 in damages on similar claims, lifting the bill in connection with the Commission to $330,000 not counting court costs.
It is reported that former minister Godwin Hulse is also pursuing a similar lawsuit against the Commission. And if the Government of Belize is sued by other former Ministers and senior government officials who felt that their right to natural justice was not respected in the publication of the Commission’s findings, then the final cost of the Commission of Inquiry to the people of Belize may rise significantly higher.