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AG: “CCJ cannot compel GOB to take Money out of Consolidated Revenue Fund”

Today, the Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte commented on the CCJ’s judgment.

Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte

“The judgment is the judgment, the way we analyze it is what the CCJ said was that the Privy Council has already said that the loan note which was really a promissory note was a legal contract entered into by the Musa administration with the Belize Bank. The CCJ said that in their opinion that since that loan note in the Privy Council’s view is legal they would take it to be legal and so, therefore, Belize Bank can take steps to register that judgment here in Belize as a regular Supreme Court judgment and they can move forward after that to collect that money. However the problem with when Said Musa signed the contract to pay that money to the Belize Ban he did not take the necessary steps to appropriate the right amount of money to set aside to pay that contract. In any vent even though the CCJ is saying that the Belize Bank has the right to register the judgment here in Belize the CCJ made it very clear that that money has to be made available by parliament so we don’t know what will happen. The Minister of Finance in my view and we are still making sure that we get all legal advice so that we are on the right page and same page with everybody but in my view the Prime Minister as Ministry of Finance should not pay that $90 million until it has been budgeted for and the only way it can be budgeted for is if the matter is taken to parliament and parliament votes for it to be budgeted for. The CCJ and they have not claimed to be able to do it, they cannot compel the parliament to vote a certain way so yes the judgment is here, yes the judgment can be registered here but the CCJ made it very clear that they cannot compel the government to take money out of the consolidated revenue fund and the only way the money can come out of the consolidated revenue fund is if parliament votes for it to come out of the consolidated revenue fund.”

In its release yesterday, the Belize Bank said quote “The Bank’s debt has been confirmed by an international arbitral tribunal, the Privy Council, the courts of the United States, and now the Caribbean Court of Justice. The Bank looks forward to the Government of Belize finally settling this debt after years of unnecessary litigation to recover the funds.”