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PM Speaks on Costly Court Ruling

Jun 30, 2023

PM Speaks on Costly Court Ruling

Prime Minister John Briceño

Former Minister of Agriculture Godwin Hulse has emerged victorious in a lawsuit against the Briceño administration.  Hulse took the government to court following the Commission of Inquiry into the Sale of Government Assets in 2021. The commission, led by Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, accused Hulse of wrong doing while he was a minister of government. That’s because Hulse had acquired a government vehicle that the commissioner found was not done in a transparent manner. But this week, Justice Genevieve Chabot ruled in favour of Hulse. It’s a ruling that will cost the government a pretty penny. Today the Prime Minister told the media that the commission was not a political misadventure plotted by his government.

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Absolutely not. I think what has happened, and this is what we need to remind people that these former ministers were not fighting to say that we were innocent. They’re just saying you did not give me a chance to come in front of the commission. It was a procedural error, and I am disappointed that that procedural error was done because now it is costing us. If these people were given a lot of opportunity to be able to come, there would have been no reason why they would be able to challenge that report. The point of the matter is that the report was factual. They’re not fighting on the facts; they’re fighting on the procedure. And that’s important to point out. Of course, I dislike very much in paying these former ministers that took advantage of their position when they were in government to be able to get some of these government assets at questionable values. But you can look at it as an investment in the future. I am not disputing, I’m not dismissing the payments, please, so I don’t want you to go on your news to say that I am dismissing it. Of course it pains me. You know what we could do with any kind of money? We could use it for more pantry, put more kids to school. There’s so many, we build a few more houses. But what this has done now is that future governments, starting with us, need to realize that if you do these things, our next government is going to take you to court. So at the very least, you could see, look at it, being optimistic or positive that in the future, that these acts do not continue.”