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BCCI Commends Chief Justice ruling

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) commends the decision delivered by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on Friday regarding the Prime Minister being found guilty of spending the Government’s money illegally The Chief Justice struck down the Petro Caribe Loans Act and condemned the associated spending of approximately $1.5 billion dollars as being unconstitutional.

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) commends the decision delivered by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on Friday regarding the Prime Minister being found guilty of spending the Government’s money illegally The Chief Justice struck down the Petro Caribe Loans Act and condemned the associated spending of approximately $1.5 billion dollars as being unconstitutional. According to the press release from the BCCI in 2005, social partners supported the amendment of the Finance and Audit Reform Act (FARA) as they considered it a necessary step to ensure increased accountability and transparency in public spending. The amendment mandated that the National Assembly must authorize any spending exceeding $10 million dollars. Consequently, when the Government first offended the FARA and sought to repair its breach via the Loans Act, there was widespread objection. The government’s dismissive treatment of the foundational principles of the Rule of Law is completely unacceptable as this encourages both individual and institutional corruption. That also diminishes any credibility that the Government is committed to the implementation of the framework of the UN Convention against Corruption. The BCCI urges the Government to not only address this specific instance, but also past and current instances of individual and institutional corruption.