SolGen speaks on GOB Crowfooting

Last night we told you that the court ordered Vision Architects & Contractors to return seized vehicles and office equipment to Belize Waste Management in Belmopan and the Government of Belize by noon yesterday. Several vehicles and office furniture were Crowfooted on behalf of VISION ARCHITECTS & CONTRACTORS which won a half a million dollar lawsuit against Solid Waste in May of this year. After writing Solid Waste Management on several occasions, last week Thursday, Vision’s Lawyer, Naima Barrow, moved for enforcement: the Court Marshall went and took Solid Waste’s three vehicles, and on Friday, they went back and took all the office equipment, including computers, in an attempt to recover the half a million dollars owed to them in the judgment. Yesterday, GOB went to court where Solicitor General Nigel Hawke submitted that it is Vision Architects that had not followed the proper procedure in the enforcement of the judgment debt. Solicitor General Nigel Hawke gave some insight into the ruling the court made yesterday.

Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General of Belize: The most I will say is that we filed, but they would have applied and gotten a writ of execution to levy on assets. They’ve indicated that they were going to levy on assets of SWAMA. The assets of SWAMA are the government’s property. If you have a look at the titles of the vehicle, you’ll see all of them in the name of the Government of Belize. So, we made an application to the court saying under our rules and under the Crown Proceedings Act, it’s clear that you are not supposed to levy on assets of the crown. And that has been made even clearer now. At the CCJ level, the question being asked in the Belize bank’s case is, what should happen if the government fail to pay? What simply happened is that the judge said he wanted to hear further arguments on the point, but he made an interim order that the assets should be returned to the state. And I believe that was done yesterday afternoon. All the articles and the vehicles would have been returned in full.

According to Hawke, the Government of Belize has filed a ‘Leave to Appeal’ while also asking for a ‘Stay in Proceedings’

Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General of Belize: In the interim, what we are simply saying is that when you go under section 25 of the Crown Proceedings Act, it gives a procedure you should follow if you feel as though we are not paying. If you feel that’s the case, the CCJ has clearly said that you can then go to the Supreme Court if you want to for a declaration to have the Minister of Finance to be ordered to pay. We are saying that they didn’t follow the procedure. They followed the procedure of going to execute on the state’s property and the rules in the law states that you can’t do that. That’s what we are simply saying.

The judge has adjourned the case until next week Friday, when it will get a full hearing.

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