CCJ sets nationalization decision for January 23

On Friday morning the five-judge panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, wrapped up a three-day session of arguments over the 2009 and 2011 nationalizations of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and the 2011 nationalization of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) by the Government of Belize, challenged by the network commonly known as the “Ashcroft Alliance” for former chief executive Lord Michael Ashcroft, and Fortis Energy International.

The court proposed to accept additional written submissions on certain points by December 17 with three days allotted for the Government’s reply.

The 2009 BTL acquisition had been ruled unconstitutional in the Court of Appeal in 2011, following which the Government sought to correct its mistakes.

The Supreme Court overruled both the 2011 acquisitions and the Eighth Constitutional Amendment but earlier this year a majority of the Court of Appeal sided with the Government and reversed the decision.

The Government is cross-appealing a section of the 2014 Court of Appeal decision. It is expected that this will finally bring the saga of the acquisitions to an end, as multiple cases back home are depending on its outcome.

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