This afternoon at 3:55, the Chief Justice granted an injunction to block BTL’s Annual General Meeting – but at this hour, the AGM has commenced, regardless.
ICC’s attorney Lionel Welch filed the action late this morning and the Chief Justice granted hearing at 3:30 this afternoon. Elson Kaseke represented the Government of Belize, but no attorney for BTL turned up. Still, Welch and Kaseke went into the Chief Justice’s chambers.
According to Welch, the Chief Justice simply asked if the two Special Share Directors, Jeff Prosser and Bobby Lubana had been invited to the AGM. It was confirmed that they were not, and with that, the CJ granted the injunction.
But as we said, BTL’s attorney did not attend the hearing and when we called Senior Manager Karen Bevans at 4:15 – she said our call was the first she had heard of it. 30 minutes later, she said that her company had still not received anything officially and the meeting, to her knowledge, was going ahead as planned.
We have confirmed that the meeting started at 6:10 pm at the Biltmore – which will, no doubt, open the way to another legal challenge from Prosser’s side. Today Kaseke said that it would be ill advised to proceed with the meeting once the injunction had been declared.
But regardless of all that, the meeting has proceeded, and with much on the agenda, from dividend declaration to scripp dividend issues, and undoing it all, would be something else altogether.
And if you’re not quite clear on why all this is happening, it goes back to the Chief Justice’s judgement of a week ago – which found that utilities Minister Ralph Fonseca had acted unlawfully when he signed a statutory instrument declaring the Special share invalid and thus removing its two directors from BTL’s board.
Conteh also ruled that convening last year’s meeting without inviting them was unlawful.
In related news, Kaseke said that he today filed an action – on government’s behalf – to have that judgement stayed until an appeal can be heard.