Seasoned Attorney Weighs In on Controversial Definitive Agreement in Belize
The Definitive Agreement is one that will survive multiple news cycles due to the extreme accommodations, the legal status of the document and the requests for a thorough investigation. Appearing on The Morning Show today was seasoned attorney, Dickie Bradley, who weighed on the agreement. One of the issues he spoke on was the signing by former Government Minister Erwin Contreras.
Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney: “No minister can sign anything except some little minor things that bicycles don’t have to go on this side it can go on that side. We can’t continue to live like this that people in power could just abuse this country and abuse our monies which we are scarce of and which we need every dollar that we can get. So a minister signed, a very serious matter because when the matter becomes public his colleagues – this is very very serious you know – his colleagues Honorable Tracy Panton says I don’t know about that that was not discussed in the committee. She’s a member of the subcommittee, she is a member of the cabinet and she says no such thing.”
Troy Gabb, Host, The Morning Show: And that minister was not a member of the cabinet subcommittee that signed it either.
Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney: “Right that is an important point to make. Can you imagine that? And then you have none other than our former Prime Minister whatever the political views he has stated categorically in pretty straightforward language. He has said that that never came to cabinet. He’s the chairman of cabinet you know, he set up that sub committee. He is whatever you think, Dean Barrow is no fool for him to go publicly to say that didn’t come to cabinet and they can’t be heard to say that oh they have are genuine agreement that is not so. Now you say the Attorney General but he is crippled by this because Mr.Gegg who is clearly the moving force behind Portico, The Port of Magical Belize, is fingering the Attorney General ‘ how dare you come and say those things that you were saying when I paid you, your law firm and you are the ones that drafted the agreement?’ That is some serious matter going on you know because you know why the constitution of Belize which Rene is referring to so quickly forbids that you can do that kind of thing. You can’t use your office that type of way you are cutting on two sides like Paña Machete.”
Attorney Bradley also weighed in on the tax exemptions listed in the Definitive Agreement. He noted that agreement is obscene and is actually a slap in the face of tax payers. Additionally, he called out Prime Minister John Briceno for allowing the agreement to reach Cabinet for consideration.
Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney: “What should be important for us and for the church leaders and the union leaders is this is not to happen again.. For it to not happen again there has to be an investigation of what transpired. It is not to be taken lightly that the former Prime Minister has gone on the public record to sing that agreement did not go to cabinet. That is not a matter to be taken lightly. So what we have is it would appear from whatever angle you look that the minister who signed that did not have the authority to sign it. He signed it in secret there was no press release for such a huge multimillion dollar arrangement. The agreement in itself it appears to be illegal nobody can’t wipe away that for 30 years you will not pay stamp duty on any land transaction, you will not pay environmental tax, you will not pay import duty for 30 years the country of Belize will not get any benefit by that from the taxes ? We live off of taxes, our people that is how they survive. The food pantry, those political community money, legal lawful expenditure for the Police Department who could do the raise for those poor police officers and our teachers and our nurses we need betterment. Last time we were here I think I’m not sure if it had come up with how people have to sit down on the street side in front of the statistical unit my God how could that ever happen? How you treat the public, the public is the boss, it’s their tax pays the government. How is the government driving around in a $90,000 vehicle, everybody who is anybody has a government vehicle and the public is sitting on the street side where somebody has a problem with their vehicle they could knock them down. You’re out there in the dust and the wind and the weather that actually is happening. That is really happening everyday people have to come from all over the districts come to sit down on the street side. We can’t rent a little room somewhere where people could just go in “I’m applying for my birth certificate.” you take the information you take their phone number OK you need to pay $1.50 and we will call you when it’s ready, we can’t do that for people? That is how low we are in terms of the public service. But that is the point we are making so now what you have it is clear that something has gone terribly wrong that a minister of government could think he is so facey to put his signature on a document like that. What Prime Minister Barrow has said is how could you be heard to be saying that that is a legal thing, that that is a good document? How could you ever even come say that ? You realize the implications of that? Now the other implication that rides with that is that the Leader of the Opposition is 100% correct. One he says everything that my party does you criticize and find fault and say it’s not good and it’s not legal and it’s all this and that now all of a sudden you’re not saying this about this agreement? We are saying something is wrong with it and you’re not saying? That is the biggest punch of all. Normally that is a knockdown punch when you get that in the ring.”
Last Friday, Portico Enterprises Limited issued a press release saying that since Erwin Contreras had signed the Harvest Caye document, there was no questioning his ability or authority to sign the Definitive Agreement. As we noted in a previous newscast, we are yet to see the Harvest Agreement to confirm Portico’s statement, but we can be certain that it did not go against Cabinet’s decision or authority.