December 5, 2003

Privy Council sees geology report

Belize Reporter

In a surprise last minute moveFortis/BEL have handed over the long supressed geology report on the Chalillo site - and it revealed just what critics have always said:

* No Granite at the site.
* The presence of a major fault zone in the vicinity.
* That historical data on earthquakes is needed.

The report only came to light when a lawyer, for the Department of Environment and BEL, handed it over last Friday on the eve of the Privy Council case in London.

The Privy Council case began Wednesday, December 3 and the report, delivered by geologist Jean Cornec to BEL and the DOE on May 3rd last year, quickly became a bone of contention.

BACONGO's lawyers argued that the report could have influenced the Appeals court decision. It was also argued that the report could have changed the outcome of the Privy Council committee meeting in July 2003 in London -the committee which referred the case to this week's full hearing, and allowed Fortis/BEL to continue with the dam.

As far back as January16, 2003 BEL's Lynn Young stated that all studies concerning the dam were in the public domain.

What may prove embarrassing to the BEL/DOE lawyers is that two of the five Privy Council judges hearing the case this week were on the Privy Council committee which heard BACONGO's plea in July. They might not be happy with the way this report was witheld.

Lawyers for BEL/DOE explained this by saying that Ismael Fabro, the Chief Environmental Officer, had not seen the report until recently!  Arguments continue on Thursday and will include not only the submissions that BEL/BECOL withheld vital information requested by BACONGO, but that they have never dis-closed the conclusions of their alternative energy study.

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