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What is Mike Peyrefitte’s Relationship With Barry Williams?

Jun 15, 2023

What is Mike Peyrefitte’s Relationship With Barry Williams?

Michael Peyrefitte

The controversial Portico Definitive Agreement continues to make headlines. Tonight, Michael Peyrefitte, the Chairman of the United Democratic Party, is in the hot seat. Peyrefitte was questioned by reporters earlier today about his relationship with businessman Barry Williams, an American national. In a previous story elsewhere in the media, Williams was accused of money laundering and immigration violations. These are all claims that he has flatly denied.  Reports are that Williams sold land to David Gegg, the principal of Portico Enterprises Limited, and that he is a close associate of businessman Haisam Diab. Williams is on record saying that he did sell lands to Gegg, but that there was no direct involvement. Furthermore, he was considered as highly influential by none other than Erwin Contreras, the former Minister of Economic Development. In 2018, Contreras referred to Williams as a “special emissary and Trade Representative for promoting Belize”.  So, how does Michael Peyrefitte play into all of this? Well for one, he represented Williams back in 2012 in a matter before the Supreme Court. Well, he says that is as far as his relationship with Williams went. And, like Williams asserts, Peyrefitte says he had no direct involvement in anything pertaining to Portico thereafter.  Here is what he had to say courtesy Guardian News.

Michael Peyrefitte, Former Attorney General

“I was introduced to him by Ambassador Hisam Diab who had called me and said that some monies were being frozen by the FIU and that Mr. Boris, they needed an attorney to apply to the Supreme Court to unfreeze the forms. So I took the retainer, I applied to the Supreme Court  to have the matter unfrozen, have the phones on frozen by  Chief Justice Benjamin, and that’s what I did. And the monies were unfrozen and I wouldn’t really had any interaction with him since then. But yes, he was a client of mine. I know I saw some one of the regular exposes that’s been coming during the news and there was a picture of a Barry Williams and that is the Barry Williams. That’s the Barry Williams I knew was Boris Sokholov, yes.”

Reporter

“Do you associate yourself with the minister’s position, the minister’s position that the man is an emissary for trade?”

Michael Peyrefitte

“All I know, my only interaction with Mr. Boris was, as I said, I was introduced to him by Hisam Diab to do a case for him, normal, the run of the mill attorney client relationship, and that is the extent of my knowledge of this individual. I don’t know him at all beyond just my representation of him in a case.”