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Prosser/Bze suit #213533
09/21/06 11:57 AM
09/21/06 11:57 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,847
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
It was just a couple of weeks ago that the Fed Court in Atlanta reopened the
Prosser/Bze suit also. The whole thing could become very interesting.
Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh returned to his courtroom this week and the
first bomb he dropped was on Utilities Minister Ralph Fonseca. In an
explosive judgment issued today, Conteh says Fonseca acted
unconstitutionally in August of 2005 when he signed into law a statutory
instrument which nullified BTL's Articles of Association.
At the time, it was designed to strip Jeffrey Prosser of the rights to the
special share and to two seats on BTL's Board of Directors. It was
statutory instrument 109 of 2005 and it said: "the special share is
and the rights flowing from it of BTL's Articles of Association are of no
effect." It continued: "a copy of the amended Articles of Association has
been filed by the Minister with the registrar of companies." That
effectively threw out BTL's Articles and put in a new one, by the force of
Fonseca's executive decree. But most importantly for Fonseca, it stripped
Jeffrey Prosser of his directors on the board - which then allowed Ashcroft
to appoint all eight.

Well in today's judgment, the CJ says that Fonseca's statutory instrument
was, "incompatible with the constitution of Belize." In his judgment,
Conteh finds that Fonseca arrogated unto himself, the powers of the PUC,
and this, the Chief Justice found was: "an impermissible combination of
legislative, executive and judicial powers." Not only does it blur the
separation of powers, the Chief Justice goes on to say that Fonseca's SI is
inconsistent with the constitutional protection against the arbitrary
deprivation of property.

And, Conteh also frowns on another Fonseca SI, number 108, which seeks
to vary the time period to be included in a court ordered review of the
affairs of BTL. At the union's request, the court had declared that BTL's
affairs from 2001 to 2005 should be reviewed - thus including Ashcroft's
tenure. But Fonseca's SI changed the date on that order to 2004 to 2005 -
thus bringing focus on the Prosser year.

So, with all that, the Chief Justice declares that the special share that
Fonseca's SI sought to get rid of, is fully restored, that the directors who
were removed along with it, Jeff Prosser and Bobby Lubana were wrongly
removed, that BTL's original Articles of Association are back in effect, and
because of all this, the general meeting that BTL held on 30th September
2005 is now declared unlawful. For good measure, the CJ also restores the
inspection period back to the four years between 2001 to 2005.

And, as for the argument made by Ashcroft's attorneys that his company
made huge investments and loaned money on the strength of the Fonseca
S.I., the Chief Justice says, "I can only express sympathy for their
predicament." Cold...but that's what it is tonight, and now, presumably,
Ashcroft could tell the government that he invested and loaned US$37
million on the strength of its legislation, and without that...well,
government could be the one left holding a very expensive bag.

Apart from raising that possibility, the judgment sets askew the entire
balance of power on BTL's Board of Directors. With the judgment, Prosser
should have four directors of the 8 and the chairmanship, meaning that four
of Ashcroft's directors would have to go home.

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit (Atlanta).
In an effort to retrieve some of the money apparently lost in the
Belize venture, ICC sued the Government of Belize (GOB) in U.S. District
Court in Miami last year; that venue had earlier been agreed to by both ICC
and Belize in connection with a loan secured from a Miami bank by GOB to
facilitate the sale of the phone company.
ICC argued that GOB had violated the terms of the phone company
purchase agreement and sought $200 million in damages. It also, briefly,
secured a $50,000 a day fine on GOB for failing to move swiftly enough in
response to an order by the judge. This was an unusual, if not unique,
decision in which a sovereign nation was to be punished for disobeying an
order by a federal district court judge.
The State Department objected to the fine, on the grounds that it
would be an unattractive precedent that might be used against America in
overseas courts. The fine disappeared and the trial judge largely ruled
against ICC last year. Then ICC sought a rehearing on the matter before the
same judge, secured it, and then lost again in the rehearing.
ICC then appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and had that
appeal tossed out on technical grounds (essentially a copying problem); last
week the circuit reversed the earlier technical decision and the appeal is
now pending.
Note the last sentence above.

Re: Prosser/Bze suit #213534
09/25/06 12:38 PM
09/25/06 12:38 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,847
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Prosser Trying to Block Monday's BTL AGM

BTL's Annual General Meeting is set for Monday evening and tonight, Jeffrey Prosser is doing all he can to block it. His local attorney, Lionel Welch has reportedly received instructions to initiate procedures to block the meeting. Still, with just one working day to go before the meeting, blocking it may prove difficult.

For Prosser, it's important because the Michael Ashcroft controlled Board of Directors has proposed to issue scripp dividends in lieu of cash dividends. That will increase the issued share capital and dilute the holdings of shareholders who opt for the cash and not the dividends. That could have a deleterious effect on Prosser's block of holdings.

As we've reported earlier this week, an explosive judgement delivered by the Chief Justice set aside an SI signed by Utilities Minister Ralph Fonseca one year ago, and restored the Special Share and two of Prosser's directors that go along with it.

Re: Prosser/Bze suit #213535
09/27/06 02:25 PM
09/27/06 02:25 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,847
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
> Sep 26, 2006
> The Belize Telecommunications Limited last evening held their Annual
> General Meeting, despite a Supreme Court ruling by the Chief Justice,
> Abdulai Conteh yesterday evening that prohibited them from doing so. The
> ruling came after Jeffrey Prosser's attorney, Lionel Welch, filed for an
> successfully got the injunction to stop the meeting on grounds he, Prosser,
> was not invited.This ruling followed a previous ruling last week, when
> Chief Justice Conteh ruled that Prosser should retain his Directors and the
> Executive Chairmanship in BTL. Love News, like shareholders who had no
> identification cards, was prevented from attending the meeting.However, we
> did meet with Prosser's Attorney, Lionel Welch outside the Belize Biltmore
> Plaza last evening while the meeting was in progress inside.Welch summed up
> what happened.
> Lionel Welch:Attorney for Jeffery Prosser
> "The point is he had the injunction in his hand from about five and he
> tried to effect service. He went to the meeting, at about a quarter to five
> he was there and certain things happened and he was denied entry to serve
> the document.An injunction can be served at any time.The authority to serve
> the injunction comes from out of the injunction itself, he's a court
> marshal and he's empowered to serve any court document. In this case he
> will be serving on my instructions."
> Marion Ali:Love FM
> "At this point in time, how strong of a case in terms of technicality or
> loop holes would you say BTL and their Attorneys will have in fighting such
> a contempt issue?
> Lionel Welch:Attorney for Jeffery Prosser
> "Well of course, they will say it was not served on them but we will show
> that sufficient efforts were made to serve the document and that they knew
> about it and that they evaded service of it. There are many decided cases
> where persons have avoided service and the court deemed it to be service.
> Of course, they would argue that it was not actually served and left, but
> under the circumstances all that have gone on before and also in the
> meeting, it will be difficult for a court to accept that they have not
> avoided service."
> Marion Ali:Love FM
> "So you're saying all the resolutions passed, all the decisions made and
> the votes cast last night were all illegal stuff?"
> Lionel Welch:Attorney for Jeffery Prosser
> "I am not making any comment on that because it is quite obvious that if
> the Chief Justice or any court give an order, and they continue to do what
> they have done like in that meeting last night then its obvious that its
> all null and void. As a matter of fact I think that from the actual
> judgment itself which was given down the nineteenth, they aught to have
> been gentlemen like and call off the meeting and indeed Prosser did write
> them a letter and ask them to do that."
> Marion Ali:Love FM
> "On grounds that he was not invited right?"
> Lionel Welch:Attorney for Jeffery Prosser
> "No, they were not invited."
> Welch said he will now proceed to bring contempt charges against BTL's
> Management.
> Lionel Welch:Attorney for Jeffery Prosser
> "They have refused to obey the order of the court and a contempt action
> will be taken against them and the law will follow its course. Proceed with
> a contempt action in due time. I need to get a video disc from the process
> server and from other people who were in the meeting and so on because you
> can recall that before the meeting started or very early in the meeting
> Lois Young Barrow , Senior Counsel. did inform the meeting of the
> injunction. I would ask her to give and affidavit as to what went on and
> later on she even gave them a copy before the meeting ended."
> Marion Ali:Love FM
> "And their response was?"
> Lionel Welch:Attorney for Jeffery Prosser
> "It seems to me that they have behaved as though they are above the law. It
> seems to from the feed back that I got that they take this whole matter
> very lightly; they just do what they want. And I thin that the time has
> come that people must understand that they must abide by decisions of the
> court."
> Marion Ali:Love FM
> "And you're seeking for jail time?"
> Lionel Welch:Attorney for Jeffery Prosser
> "I would certainly urgethat on the court."
> Love News has also tried to reach BTL's Head of Marketing and Public
> Relations, Karen Bevans, for a comment on the company's decision to still
> hold the meeting.However, she denied us an interview last evening and was
> unavailable today.We also tried to reach BTL's Attorney,Senior Counsel
> Rodwell Williams for his legal perspective on what happened.He too was
> unavailable for comment.

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