PM Wins In Court Over BFJ, COLA

Posted By: Marty

PM Wins In Court Over BFJ, COLA - 09/20/11 02:37 PM

The Prime Minister of Belize won a major court victory today in the case brought against him by Belizeans for Justice and COLA, in which the two NGO's were asking the court to make a declaration on section 7 of the Belize Constitution's Sixth Amendment Act of 2008. The case interestingly is built on a pair of interviews the prime minister gave this station regarding the expanded senate amendment, in which he stated, quote: "it ain't going to happen..I'm not going to do it.."

Attorneys for COLA and BFJ, who are Said Musa, Dickie Bradley and Anthony Sylvester argue that the PM is going outside his powers and taking on powers of the legislature.

The trial judge, Samuel Awich dismissed the case in its entirety and scolded the NGO's for relying on an interview in the media, that he says "is today mostly guilty of spin and political bias"

In an interview with 7 news immediately after the ruling, attorney Anthony Sylvester, said there were still some aspects of the ruling left unclear.

Anthony Sylvester, Attorney
"The Justice indicated that notwithstanding the Prime Minister has said in a public interview, several times that he will never bring the act into force, that is not sufficient evidence to show that he will never bring the act into force and as well you will realize that he went to fall to point out that reliance on the television news report is not really in the day and age, he seems to have been found on that."

Jim McFadzean
"He did take a swipe at the media but he also scolds at the NGO for what he taught was a irresponsible, he felt the NGO should have written the Prime Minister and approached the Prime Minister and questioned him on his performance."

Anthony Sylvester, Attorney
"Well I take that point of the Judge but certainly it's not once but on several occasions that the Prime Minister has indicated this, but we don't want to go back and forth, what is of interest is that we learned trail Judge did indicate to us that we have 21 days with in which to appeal, so it seems to be an indication that we have to appeal."

Jim McFadzean
"Justice Awich says that he doesn't accept that the Prime Minister has refused to bring that particular section in courts, that kind of ambiguous."

Anthony Sylvester, Attorney
"Well what he is saying basically notwithstanding the Prime Minister public announcement that those - he has refuse to bring the section into course."

Jim McFadzean
"I guess the questions then is when it is appropriate? And is that with in the power of the Prime Minister to determine when it is appropriate for him to bring that section of the law into course?"

Anthony Sylvester, Attorney
"Well I think that is what Justice Awich was indicating and suggested that it would be appropriate for him to make a decision. But I would have thought that the decision was made already."

"Are you surprised by the decision?"

Anthony Sylvester, Attorney
"Well, in our system of law when you are unsuccessful at the first instance you can appeal at the court of appeal and needs be now the Caribbean court of justice."

The NGO's have 21 days to file an appeal.

Channel 7

Posted By: Bear

Re: PM Wins In Court Over BFJ, COLA - 09/20/11 03:59 PM

What is an NGO?, non governmental organizations?
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: PM Wins In Court Over BFJ, COLA - 09/20/11 05:35 PM

Yes. In this case, its about Greg Ch'oc of Satiim, who should get his seat if the PM were playing fair, but will keep him out due to oil exploration in reserves and preserves in Toledo and other areas of the country. NGO's range from environmental to medical and run the gamut around the world.
Posted By: Bear

Re: PM Wins In Court Over BFJ, COLA - 09/21/11 12:23 AM

Thanks Katie, I have a lot to learn.
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