UDP Chairman Demands Transparency on Costs of Legal Opinions for Definitive Agreement
The Chairman of the United Democratic Party (UDP) is calling for transparency from the government. A letter was sent to Prime Minister Briceno, asking for a breakdown in the cost paid for the legal opinions of both Ben Juratowich and Calista Harris as well as Douglas Mendes and Jerome Rajcoomar. Both duos had drafted and presented a legal opinion on the Definitive Agreement as per the request of the Government. According to Peyrefitte, the government deserves to give answers and clarity to the Belizean people.
Michael Peyrefitte, Senator: “Now when I heard that the government had sought him for legal advice on the matter, immediately I was satisfied because what I know of Ben is this he is going to call it like he sees it. He’s going to give an honest opinion on whatever it is you ask him for whether you want to hear that opinion or not. And this is not a government that strikes me like wanting to hear honest opinion, especially if it goes against them. So I want to know who hired Ben. That’s interesting, because then that’s not the person you can bully into giving you an opinion that you want. But having had that opinion, getting that opinion from him with maximum respect you don’t then need one from Douglas Mendez unless you’re opinion shopping. And what I’m saying is that you could do, with no disrespect to none of those gentlemen, any lawyer worth her salt would be able to look at that definitive agreement and say right away that that’s rubbish we never need to Juratowich for that and we certainly didn’t mean Mendez for that.”
Chairman Peyrefitte made the request under the Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 13 of the Laws of Belize.