Jack Charles’ Attorney Files for Judicial Review on Guyanese Rice

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Updated: December 23, 2015

The legal battle over Guyanese rice has begun. Today Leeroy Banner who is representing Importer Jack Charles, filed an application in the court to have the rice released. Hipolito Novelo reports.

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“In another major development in the Guyanese rice saga, Attorney Leeroy Banner filed an application requesting for judicial review in order to obtain an order of mandamus against the Belize Agricultural and Health Authority, BAHA.  Banner who is representing Importer Jack Charles, told the media that since the seventy five tons of rice entered the country on December 17, they have been unable to retrieve it from the Port of Big Creek in Independence Village. That’s because BAHA did not grant them the necessary permit to do so and until customs gets the said permit they cannot order the port to release the rice.  Not only that, Banner says, that BAHA has not given them reason, in writing, why they were not given the permit.”

LEEROY BANNER

From last week we were trying to get in touch with BAHA to find out what exactly the reason was why they have detained our client’s containers. We have given them ample time, we wrote them and no one responded to our request as to put in writing the reason why the containers are being held and we realized that it has been almost a week and we decided that they will not give us anything in writing so we filed a motion of judicial review so that they can look at what BAHA did to see if it was justified in holding Mr.Charles’ containers.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“Banner says that they are seeking courts to order BAHA to release the containers of give reason why the containers are being detained.”

LEEROY BANNER

Under judicial review we are seeking an order of mandamus pretty much compelling BAHA to act because our position is that they acted unlawfully when they detained the containers and when they refused to release the containers so we are pretty much asking the court to force BAHA to release Mr.Charles’ containers or at least to give us reason as to why they are being detained.”

LOCAL REPORTER

“Have you thought about taking the matter to the CCJ?”

LEEROY BANNER

We will see what happens at this stage and then from there I will have to take instructions from my client.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“His client Jack Charles wants to sell Guyanese rice in the local market for sixty nine cents per pound. The Ministry of Agriculture does not want that, and is not allowing it, because, as the CEO explained, it might put the local rice industry in jeopardy.  It’s now been six days since the containers of rice valued at more than thirty eight thousand US dollars. After the seventh day, Charles will have to pay a storage fee per day and after the third month the rice would either be auction off or disposed of by port authorities. Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.”