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Prime Minister Interview - BTL Ruling

Prime Minister Interview - BTL Ruling

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Published by pjonesbze
Prime Minister Dean Barrow speaks candidly about the Appeals Court ruling that the takeover of BTL was unconstitutional.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow speaks candidly about the Appeals Court ruling that the takeover of BTL was unconstitutional.

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Published by: pjonesbze on Jun 25, 2011
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10/06/2011

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A telephone interview with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. This interview wasconducted by Patrick E. Jones shortly after the Belize Court of Appeal handeddown its judgment that the government takeover of Belize Telemdia Limited(BTL) was unconstitutional.Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Actually I am disappointed but this is the system, we’re a democracy; we respect the courts. We won down below, they won in the court of appeal. I will now look at the judgement carefully and discuss the matter with Cabinet consult as widely as I can and determine where we go from here.” 
Patrick Jones: Does this mean then that you have to hand the company backover to Lord Michael Ashcroft.Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Yes indeed. In terms of the decision of the court, we are looking at whether we arelikely to get a stay on that decision, that can only come from the CCJ and in order togo to the CCJ I believe we need the permission from the Court of Appeal here and so that will take a while and in the meanwhile certainly respecting the decision of theCourt of Appeal means handing back the company. It’s unsettling in that regard inthe sense that if we do get to go to the CCJ and we do get a stay then they will haveto hand it back, and Lord that’s a horrible state of uncertainty but as of now the judgement in the court of appeal is clear and it stands unless and until, their order stands unless we get some stay of that order from the CCJ so I have giveninstruction today that if the appellants go into the company on St. Thomas Street totake over they must be allowed to do that.” 
Patrick Jones: How big a setback is this for your government?Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“It is a legal setback for sure but as I say it is not necessarily over yet. Politically I don’t know, the truth is that we have no regrets in having done what we did. Wecertainly are in any event rid of the accommodation agreement which was the principal reason for the takeover just before we went to the House in an effort tostave off what we were doing the Ashcroft group had conceded that theaccommodation agreement is invalid, that it cannot be relied on so from that point of view it was worth the fight. Again in terms of standing up for national dignity and national sovereignty it was worth the fight, if I had to do it all over again I would do it in exactly the same way except the law would have to be drafted a little morecarefully. We believe that ultimately while we have to respect the decision of thecourts Belizeans will applaud this Government for having had the courage to dowhat it did, for having had the courage to stand up to this billionaire and to makeabsolutely plain that we would not be robbed of our dignity, we would not tolerateinsults to our sovereignty because as I said ultimately we are very much ademocracy what the courts say must be respected. If the court now say perhapsyou went too far then we have to deal with that. Nobody can question that what wedid, we did for the proper motives and I am saying that even if the Court of Appeal decision stands in terms now of the PUC being able to regulate Telemedia which

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