General

Oceana expert witness struck out

Dennis BarrowThe Supreme Court has refused Oceana’s application to have expert witness Susan Harvey testify in the government’s application for a stay of execution  on injunctions ordered by Justice Oswell Legal.

Attorney for the Government Denys Barrow submitted that Harvey’s testimony did not have any relevance to the trial because she was being called to testify in regard to affidavits that GOB will not be using as evidence.

The affidavits were from Andre Cho,  Director of the Petroleum Department, who summarized letters that Princess Petroleum Limited and Providence Energy Limited had sent to the Government of Belize.

Barrow explained that the affidavits would be used only to illustrate that the companies corresponded with government and the nature of the correspondence.

He concluded that since the letters would not be used in detail in the trial, Harvey would have no reason to make any rebuttals.

Oceana’s Vice President, Audrey Matura Shepherd, said that though her expert witness was barred, it is not a substantial loss because GOB will not use the affidavits and, therefore, there was no need for her to rebut them.

On April 29, Justice Oswell Legal ruled that several oil contracts signed by the government were “unlawful, null and void.”

Legal also granted an injunction barring GOB from carrying out any provisions agreed to in the PSA.

According to Barrow, the injunction prohibits GOB from supervising and monitoring the oil companies, but the companies can still legally operate within the scope of the Production Sharing Agreements.

Barrow added that having the injunction removed is in the national interest because of the revenue that can be generated by an oil find.

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