Belize Court of Appeal Deems Government Takeover of Telecommunications Company Unconstitutional

The ruling was made on Friday 24th June, 2011 and following the decision, one of the successful applicants, Dean Boyce, according to reports, went to Telemedia’s headquarters in Belize City and purported to take back the company.

 

However, having sought legal advice on the full import of the consequence of the Court of Appeal’s decision, the government has claimed that it was not open, without more, to Boyce to assume control of the company.

 

“The Court of Appeal judgment is declaratory in nature, and by itself does not deprive government of its de facto possession of the company. For that to happen the appellant Boyce would have to go back to court for an enforcement order telling government to give up possession,” the government said in a press statement.

 

The government has reportedly instructed its appointee, the executive chairman and the Telemedia board, to continue in control of the company unless presented with a court order specifically placing Boyce in control.

 

 

The government stressed that, in resisting Boyce, it is acting strictly in accordance with the law.

“In fact it was Boyce and his lawyer who tried to circumvent the court processes by moving without the specifically required order,” the government said.

 

 

The government also made it clear that it will fight any application for an enforcement order, and that it has several bases on which to do so, as well as taking steps to appeal to the CCJ the Friday decision of the Court of Appeal, regardless of the outcome of Boyce’s application for an enforcement order.

 

 

The government of Belize became the owner of the majority of the shares in Belize Telemedia in August 2009, by virtue of an Act of Parliament. The remaining shares are owned by some 900 small shareholders.

 


(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Caribbeannewsnow report)

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