Sunday, June 26, 2011

Court of Appeal decision regarding Telemedia

Press Release - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - Belize Press Office - On Friday June 24, 2011 the Belize Court of Appeal ruled that the acquisition of Belize Te-lemedia Limited by the Government of Belize, is unconstitutional. As a consequence of that decision Mr Dean Boyce, one of the successful appellants, went to Telemedia's headquarters on St Thomas street in Belize City and purported to take back the company. Government then got immediate legal advice as to the full import and consequence of the Court of Appeal decision. On the basis of that advice Government concluded that it was not open, without more, to Mr Boyce to assume control of the company. The Court of Ap-peal judgment is declaratory in nature, and by itself does not deprive Government of its de facto possession of the company. For that to happen the appellant Boyce would have to go back to court for an enforcement order telling Government to give up possession. Gov-ernment thus instructed its appointee, the Executive Chairman and the Telemedia Board, to continue in command of the company unless presented with a court order specifically placing the appellant Boyce in control.

Government stresses that in resisting Mr Boyce government is acting strictly in accor-dance with the law. In fact It was Boyce and his lawyer who tried to circumvent the court processes by moving without the specifically required order. And government actually waited until it could be absolutely sure of its legal ground before it decided to resist Boyce.

Government also makes clear that it will fight any application for an enforcement order, and that it has several bases on which to do so. Government has also taken steps to ap-peal to the CCJ the Friday decision of the Court of Appeal. And regardless of the outcome of Boyce's application for an enforcement order, the appeal will be carried on.

The Government of Belize is naturally extremely disappointed at the ruling of the Court of Appeal. It is at a loss to understand how, in all the circumstances, the Court could have come to its decision, which has the effect of thwarting the will of the Belizean people as exercised by a sovereign Government. Nevertheless our system of democracy and rule of law is such that the decision must be respected, even as Government exercises all op-tions which that very rule of law gives to government.
Government also regrets the uncertainty that the legal developments have caused, espe-cially to the staff of Telemedia but also to the wider public. But Government will now use every recourse to preserve the status quo.

Finally, the Government of Belize thanks the Belizean people for what Government is cer-tain will be the continuing solidarity with, and support for, the entirely just and necessary struggle against Billionaire arrogance and disrespect for national pride and national sovereignty.

The fight will be carried on and one way or another Belize will prevail.