Last night we had a long report on the special sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice to hear an appeal from the Ashcroft Alliance on the reacquisition of Telemedia and the proposed 9th Amendment to the Constitution.
As we told you, the court granted special leave to appeal to Dean Boyce and the British Caribbean Bank and barred government from selling any shares in BTL until the matter is settled before the courts.
For clarity, that leave to appeal is against the court of appeal's refusal to make orders giving Telemedia back to the Ashcroft Alliance. That was two months ago, in June of this year. That's when Government used police to hold unto the company, insisting that the Ashcroft Alliance needed an enforcement order to re-take possession. The Alliance went to the court of appeal for those orders but it was turned away. Now the CCJ says the Alliance can appeal that.
But government issued a release today giving its official reaction. As regards the leave to appeal, government points to the fact that "such an appeal would be futile unless the Supreme Court of Belize first strikes down the 2011 re-acquisition of Telemedia and the 9th Constitution Amendment Bill.
And as regards the injunction against selling shares, government says, quote "once the 9th Amendment Bill is passed…the injunction will fall away and Government will be free to continue sale of minority Telemedia shares, including to the employees."
And as to the point made by the court that the 9th Amendment can be challenged and overturned, government says it proves its point that, quote: "no language or provision in the Bill would bar anyone from access to court."
The official release ends with some rather extravagant, overtly political flourishes, stating that yesterday's proceedings, demonstrate the, quote "the Ashcroft Alliance's implacable determination to defeat the will and sovereignty of the Belizean people" and adds that quote "the greatest weapon to safeguard…Telemedia from Ashcroft's continuing billionaire power plays, is the Ninth Amendment."
If you would like to hear the full proceedings from yesterday's teleconference session of the CCJ - in a first - it has been posted on the CCJ's website and you can find a link to that at 7newsbelize.com.