In the supreme court today, the former director of the BTB (Belize Tourism Board) won a defamation lawsuit filed against Prime Minister Hon. John Briceno.
In a decision made by Supreme Court Justice Westmin James, he awarded Karen Bevans; represented by former prime minister Dean Barrow, who was technically her former boss, a total of $90,000 for defamation ($60k compensatory damages) and $30k for aggravated damages.
The case was filed by former PM Dean Barrow on behalf of Bevans shortly after her contract was rescinded by the new government back in March 2021. The lawsuit claimed that current Prime Minister John Briceno defamed Bevans by making the following statement on LOVE FM morning talk-show, that -quote – “Bevans had been given a lucrative “crony contract” that would be difficult to get out of because of its airtight nature”.
On March 15th. 2021 the BTB issued a statement that Bevans was no longer the director of the BTB.
Bevans , reportedly had a lucrative $1.2million dollar contract that lasted well beyond the Dean Barrow administration.
The case is reportedly the largest sum ever awarded in a defamation lawsuit brought to the Belize Supreme Court.
Justice Westmin James is a national of Trinidad and Tobago was appointed to the supreme court of Belize in July 2020, by then, attorney general Michael Peyrefitte, his contract was for a term of 1 year. Which was not renewed by the new attorney general.
The case and ruling is drawing the attention to many legal observers, because Justice James has technically been adjudicating and has now made a ruling on a case beyond the terms of his 1 year contract of July 2020. And the irony of it all is that the lawyer for the plaintiff (former PM: Dean Barrow) had once made an argument to the current Prime Minister that a judge who is ‘FUNCTUS‘ cannot make a ruling that stands.
In a televised news-cast the former prime minister referred to Karen Bevans in his usual disingenuous modus, as thou she was someone he never knew before; a non-aware observer would think that he just met her since being retained to sue John Briceno.
Karen Bevans was the director at BTB for several years under the Dean Barrow administration, she was personally appointed by Dean Barrow. Her contract salary and benefits totaled just over $1.2million over a 5 year period, that contract was signed in late 2019.
Reference: Researched Article –
Amandala July 25 2020
Written & Compiled by: channel1Belize.com / digitalBelize,LIVE Staff writer – Monday, August 30th. 2021 – firstname.lastname@example.org