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Prosser Ousted as Chair of Belize Phone Company

Aug. 31, 2005 — Jeffrey Prosser, owner of Innovative Communications Corp. (ICC), was ousted Monday from the chairmanship of the board of directors of Belize Telecommunications Ltd.
Prosser's ICC is the parent company to Innovative Telephone, the V.I. telephone company formerly known as Vitelco. ICC borrowed millions from the former Vitelco to invest in the Central American phone system.
Monday's move came weeks after the Government of Belize passed a law allowing its Cabinet to remove two members of the BTL board whose appointments had been based on Prosser's contested ownership of the so-called Golden Share in BTL that he had secured from the Belize government when he got control of that firm in a deal involving both cash and a $57 million promissory note. When the note was not paid, the Belize government seized control of the phone company.
With the two Prosser appointees off the board yesterday, the other six members — representing the interests of the Belize government and the British businessman, Lord Michael Ashcroft (former owner of BTL) — elected a new chair. He is Keith Arnold, a Belize government-appointed board member.
The move will be controversial, as Ashcroft's Belizean TV station, News5 predicted: "We have not heard a reaction from Prosser, but if past behavior is any guide, we can expect this latest move to be quickly contested in a multitude of courtrooms."
The control of BTL has been the subject of a number of court battles recently, in U.S. district court in Miami and in the Belizean courts. (See "Prosser Loses, Belize Wins in Miami Court" and "Prosser Busy in At Least Five Courthouses".)
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