In yesterday’s newscast we aired an interview with PUP’s Senator Eamon Courtenay who stated that there was no need for the legislation under the Central Bank of Belize International Immunities Act 2017 and that it was a personal attack against him. For reference we bring you that interview again.
“We discovered that what the Prime Minister said was not true it was a falsehood. The foreign reserves in Belize are protected by the laws of the United States of America and the fact show as we can stand here today and show that there has been no attempt to go after the foreign reserves of Belize, you cannot go after the foreign reserves of Belize or any country that is the law of the United States. Now I had specifically said in the senate first of all that the law that was being proposed was directed at me and that I was personally and professionally affected by it. You will recall that I also spoke in the senate about the fact that to the extent that there was a belief that there was a need to protect the reserves that should be done and that there was absolutely no need for any criminal legislation dealing with this matter; protect the reserves and that is the end of it.”
As a follow up we spoke with Lead Senator for Government Business, Godwin Hulse to ask him to respond to what Courtenay said.
“He is the legal expert and we have legal experts on our side as well I do not weigh in official on legal determinations for which I can be criticized for having no authority but what I will say in a layman’s position is yes I understand the laws very well and I understand that there is legislation in the United States and other countries that protect assets of foreign countries, I hear that I haven’t seen those legislations etc. but I do know that the United States seized Iran’s assets and I do know that they attempted if they did not do the same to Venezuela and many countries in the past so I don’t reside at all on those kinds of assurances that some foreign country is going to protect my assets because they have laws that say so I believe it is important to sleep with our own eyes and as a consequence as I said clear so I don’t get criticism from the bar association so I am not dabbling in the legality of it I am dabbling into the fact that I have no difficulty whether in fact laws exist in the US and everywhere else to protect our assets I have no difficulty in our saying we are sleeping with our own eyes, we will protect our own assets and we will make sure that anybody tries to challenge them that we will find and confine I have no problem with that at all because those are the assets of the people of Belize. Now the fact that Mr.Ashcroft may have a claim that is a whole other matter but the fact of the matter is that we as a people have to look after ourselves and protect our assets so I have no difficulty with that at all.”
Courtenay is challenging the criminal aspect of the law.