BELIZE CITY, Tues. Sept. 17, 2019– Hon. Wilfred Elrington, who is also the area representative of the Pickstock constituency and the Foreign Minister of Belize, has been embroiled in a legal battle for some time now with Progresso Heights, a real estate company in which he holds a twenty-percent share. The case came up today in the Supreme Court of Justice Courtenay Abel, where both sides made final submissions.
Progresso Heights is seeking redress from the court for cautions that shareholder Elrington placed on a number of the company’s properties. The company has also sued the government’s Land Registry for the cautions that have been placed on its lands.
Eamon Courtenay, SC, the attorney representing Progresso Heights, made his submissions this morning, and following the hearing, Elrington, a Senior Counsel, explained to the media what had transpired in court.
“It was submission day; in other words, this is the time when the legal arguments are presented and we started off having Mr. Courtenay present. This is a case where they have brought the action against me because I had launched caveats to prevent Progresso Heights and the people who deal with it, not so much the company, but the people who deal with it, from selling off the lands because they were selling off the lands and making millions of dollars and not accounting for it, you know,” Elrington said.
Continuing, Elrington explained, “So I caused cautions to be lodged to prevent them from being able to do that. So now they are trying to get the cautions removed and they are taking two points, really. They are saying, well, I did not have the authority to lodge the caution because I didn’t have any unregistrable interest in the lands. That’s a very technical and legal argument and we are responding to that.
“The other argument and the main argument in the case is that we are saying that it is not Progresso Heights that is in front of the courts; it is the same directors who have been dealing with the assets of the company without authority.”
Elrington added, “There are only three ways in which directors can properly deal with assets of a company, because it is not theirs, it’s the company’s. One, they have to have authority from the Articles of Association. Two, they have to have authority from the Board of Directors, or three, they have to have authority from the general meeting.
“In the case of both the Board of Directors and the general meeting, their authority is evidenced by resolutions. They have to show resolutions in court because a company is separate and apart from its members. Nobody can do anything on behalf of a company without authority.”
In the afternoon session of the hearing, Elrington, who is defending himself and is being assisted by attorney O. J. Elrington, his nephew, made his closing submissions.
Elrington predicated a part of his submission to the court on issues directly related to the company, Progresso Heights, which was not before the court. In addition, Elrington also argued mightily that the witness, Lawrence Schneider, was not a witness in the case. The court had allowed Schneider to testify via video link and had accepted a witness statement that he had provided. Furthermore, Elrington also accused the directors of Progresso Heights Limited of committing fraud.
After the hearing ended this evening, Courtenay told the media that they had submitted to the court that “Mr. Elrington had wrongfully put caution on the property of Progresso Heights in 2010, and they have been there ever since then, and that he had no legal basis for putting it there.”
“Mr. Elrington, in a flight of fantasy, told the court that in fact there was no resolution for us to bring the claim. So the court tried its best to get Mr. Elrington to focus on what was before him.in the court, which was whether or not the cautions were lawfully there,” Courtenay said.
Courtenay went on to say, “I had to