Former Prime Minister Said Musa deserves the tongue-lashing he received this week from the judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice for his role in undermining the rule of law in Belize in order to appease his good friend, British billionaire Mr. Michael Ashcroft and his companies, BCB Holdings Limited and the Belize Bank.
Mr. Musa however was not acting alone. He clearly did not draw up the terms of the Settlement Deed. Those were drawn up elsewhere and given to him for him to sign.
The Caribbean Court found that the terms and conditions of the Settlement Deed had been drawn up “in careful detail”. They created a special tax regime for the two Ashcroft companies disregarding existing law, “to supplant and supersede all current and future Statutes enacted by the National Assembly.”
They demanded irrevocable assurances from the Prime Minister that the arrangement would continue “for as long as BCB Holdings remained a Public Investment Company,” and that these terms would remain secret.
The terms of the Settlement Deed were not only voracious. They were arrogant and humiliating at the same time. They required the Prime Minister to break the law by exceeding his executive authority and usurping the legislative powers of the Belize House of Representatives. It was the kind of directive you would expect to find between master and stoogie.
The demands of the Settlement Deed speak volumes about its authorship, which can be traced back to Mr. Ashcroft. These demands are rapacious. They are demeaning. They are exploitative. They are petulantly in contempt of Belizean law and the Belizean people!
In the end the Settlement Deed has worked to bring down and ravage the reputation of the one man Mr. Ashcroft could depend upon to befriend him and carry on his manipulative work, and the fall out damage extends to the present Party Leader, Mr. Francis Fonseca, who also signed the Settlement Deed.