Court of Appeal to Hear I.C.J. Injunction Appeal
On Monday, the Government of Belize and the Opposition Party will go to legal war at both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear government’s application to have the Supreme Court injunction lifted. If the Court of Appeal rules in favour of G.O.B., this will allow the government to proceed with the April tenth referendum as scheduled. A case management conference was held in close sessions today as the Court of Appeal which means that it is not open to the media. A News Five crew camped outside the court and a few minutes before five o’clock this evening, a visibly irate Michael Peyrefitte General exited. Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams of the Prime Minister’s law firm has now joined the government’s legal team. Peyrefitte told us what occurred in chambers today.
Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
“From this morning that we came to court, the Court of Appeal made it very, very clear to everybody, that we are prepared and ready to proceed to hear the matter now if they had to. They were fully prepared to hear everybody on the matter. Naturally, they asked us what was our position. They even suggested to us that we could skip them and go the C.C.J. if we wanted but we said we wanted to hear the matter right here, right now and we were prepared for that. The Court of Appeal was prepared for that. When the court the P.U.P. if they are prepared to proceed with it, the P.U.P. refused to give any indication that they are amendable to it or not amendable to it. When they asked the P.U.P., are you prepared to proceed with the matter? They said that all we would do is watch what the court does and they reserved all rights as they usually do and have. At that point, the court recessed to give them a chance to think about it. When we came back this afternoon we repeated our position that the government is ready to proceed right now if we have to. The P.U.P. once again said, that they court will have to do what it has to do and that they reserve their rights. So the court decided, listen we will give the P.U.P. until six o’clock tomorrow afternoon to file skeleton arguments with any objections that they may have and we after that proceed to a hearing on Monday to here both the notice of motion for expedited hearing and the notice of the appeal right away. So Monday everything is set for. A little bit of time is given because there is another matter in the Supreme Court. But the Court of Appeal has decided that they will hear the matter and they will hear the matter Monday after pleadings have been filed tomorrow six o’clock.”