We also asked the Attorney General about the Ashcroft Alliance's victory in the US District Court of Colombia. As we told you last week, the court has granted an enforcement order against the Government of Belize to crowfoot it's assets to settle a judgement in that court.

The Attorney General told us that from the Government's perspective at this time, that US Court's decision is an empty judgment which, as far as they can see, has no effect:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"Yes I am aware of the judgement. We expect to go the way it did. We don't expect the American courts to rule in our favor. They have demonstrated a pattern that they don't even respect the CCJ which is our final court. So it's no surprise to us. But we have, as far as I know we don't have any assets to crowfoot. I am also aware of the fact that they've been trying to do this for some time and we expected that at some point they will attempt to do this. So, like I said it comes as no surprise, but we don't have any assets abroad that they can crowfoot and I pretty much would like to see that it's an empty judgement."

Daniel Ortis, reporter
"But sir facilities such as embassy outreach missions, aren't those assets of Belize that can be touched?"

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"No they can't. Under the Geneva Convention the embassies are off limits completely and we've already established very clearly that Central Bank and Government are two different things. So they cannot touch any of the assets that have to do with the Central Bank. But like I said, we expected them to do that and we are not worried about any assets being out there that they can crowfoot, because we believe that there is none. What we will say is that we have a matter pending before the CCJ that has to do with this very same 90 million dollars. We will respect our courts. Our court is the CCJ and whatever ruling that they pronounce then we will respect that ruling. We will at the very least acknowledge that ruling and respect that ruling. Any ruling by the Ashcroft Alliance in the United States, while we are not saying that it is irrelevant and we won't pay attention to it - that's not our court."

AG Says Hes Ready To Go To Jail

But, while the Attorney General can interpret that US Court order as mostly a non-event, he can't say the same thing for the CCJ decision that is pending at this time.

The court has ordered the Government to pay the award, but the Barrow Administration's stance is that they must get parliamentary approval to take the payment from the consolidated revenue fund.

And now that matter is back before the CCJ. One of the major considerations that the court has on its hand is the doctrine of the separation of powers between the executive - in this case, the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General; and the legislature, in this case, Parliament.

If the court rules that the Attorney General and the Minister of Finance must pay the award, there is the very real possibility that Parliament will vote against it. There are direct implications for AG Peyrefitte since, if that happens, he may be at risk of being jailed for disobeying the court.

When we asked about that, he said that he's perfectly prepared to accept the consequences and go to jail:

Daniel Ortis, reporter
"You may be in jeopardy of possibly being jailed for not satisfying or respecting the ruling of the court. Is it a consideration you've made?"

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"The Prime Minister and I already said we will flip coins to see who will go. I am the Attorney General, but I'm not the minister of finance. So even if I were to advise the Prime Minister to pay, the minister of finance will still have to actually pay. But on a serious note, I think with maximum respect to the judges or to the president in particular, it's not a matter of who has the higher power. It's a matter of there is equal power and the judiciary doesn't have any authority when it comes to parliamentary voting. How parliament votes, in my respectful view cannot be directed by the judiciary and similarly, parliament cannot - just like in the same sense, it would be amazing if parliament tried to instruct a judge how to rule in a case or how to interpret law. I think it is just as crazy to expect that judges could tell parliament how to vote. What was made very clear is that if it goes to parliament and parliament votes no, it doesn't mean that we are not respecting the judgement. It doesn't mean that the judgement disappears. The judgement is there against the government. The problem is that the monies have to be appropriated for that purpose. The PUP should have done that. They didn't do it. Look at what the lawyer told the president. If you make an order for the attorney general to pay and he doesn't pay and you send him to jail, he will also be sent to jail, if he pays without the constitution being followed and parliament voting for him to pay the money. So what the judge is saying pretty much is that I am going to jail anyway."

Daniel Ortis, reporter
"Are you prepared for that?"

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"Maybe I lose some weight them. I hear jail bread is good. [laughing]"

"I am prepared for that, because then at that point I think you have a constitutional crisis. The courts in my view cannot direct me to violate the constitution."

Daniel Ortis, reporter
"Is it a consideration of yours that this could end up in a deadlock where the court says you Mr. Government and you Mr. Attorney General have to pay this and then the government maintains its position where or at least the parliament as a whole say no Mr. Attorney General, we will not give you permission to pay it out of the consolidated revenue fund. Where do you fall then?"

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"Then it cocks - that the constitutional crisis we find ourselves in."

The judges are still deliberating.

Channel 7