Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Government wins. State can take action against former eTeck directors

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has secured an initial victory in the attempt to take legal action against former directors of eTECK.
File. Prof. Ken Julien

A High Court judge ruled Monday that the State can take action against former directors, who include former T&T international beauty queen Wendy Fitzwilliams, Brian Copeland and Prof. Kenneth Julien. The court ordered the accused to pay costs. 

The action against the eTeck board was initiated by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan in February. He claimed that directors failed in their responsibility to act fairly and responsibly.

The judge ruled that the defendants breached their duty to the company in a deal between eTECK and a foreign firm, Bamboo Investments Ltd. 

The original lawsuit, filed in 2011, accused the eTeck board of entering into a $30 million agreement with Chinese-based company between January 18 and May 17, 2005, without carrying out a due diligence exercise into the company’s financial records beforehand. 

The action is against former chairman Prof Ken Julien and board members Ulric Mc Nicol, Brian Copeland, Rene Monteil, Eugene Tiah, Sonia Noel, Wendy Fitzwilliam and John Soo Ping Chow.

The accused asked the court to strike down the case claiming it was ten years and that the directors made the agreement with the foreign company in good faith. The judge disagreed, ruled against the defendants and struck out their claim.

The judgment by High Court judge Devindra Rampersad is expected to be used as precedent in several ongoing civil lawsuits involving former members of state boards accused of impropriety. Rampersad said, "Public scrutiny of public posts must exist to secure public funds."

Rampersad ruled that there was no political victimisation in the case as alleged by the defendants. "Political victimisation...does not feature in the court’s mind in the exercise of its function as the determiner of facts related to deliberate breaches of duty,” Rampersad said.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai