Snouts in the troughJune 3 2009 at 9:32 AM
K810,000 bonus from Finance Dept
A FORMER nightclub owner from Goroka received K150,000 from the Finance Department in 2004 after the National Court had ordered that he be paid K40,000 in damages.
The case began in 1999, when a body was found near Ben Kua Noels night club.
He was arrested and detained from July 26 to Aug 31 that year in relation to the death.
He was released without being charged.
He sued police and the State for false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation and loss of business.
On April 26, 2004, Justice Cathy Davani awarded him K40,000 in damages, with interests and costs.
Two weeks ago, Mr Noel appeared before the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Finance Department hearing in Mt Hagen to give evidence in relation to his questionable payout, which is being probed in the inquiry.
He told the CoI that after he had pursued his claim with the Solicitor-Generals office, the settlement was increased 21-fold to K850,000.
This deal was struck between himself and the then acting solicitor-general, Francis Kuvi.
Mr Noel said he was given a part-payment of K150,000, by cheque number 812747, on June 7, 2004, by the Finance Department.
When asked whether he had received the remaining K700,000 from the K850,000 deed of settlement, Mr Noel said he was still waiting for that sum.
Lawyer Alois Kintau, who had acted for Mr Noel, appeared before the CoI in Port Moresby earlier this week.
Mr Kintau said he ceased acting for Mr Noel soon after the court hearing and, therefore, had no knowledge of the execution of a deed of release for K850,000.
The inquiry is yet to question Mr Kuvi on the matter.
Another former solicitor-general, Zacchary Gelu, whose signature appeared on the deed of release, is also required to appear before the CoI in Port Moresby for clarification on the same matter.
Re: Snouts in the trough
|June 3 2009, 9:33 AM |
Yama slams Kassman for breaking word
THE counsel assisting the Commission of Inquiry into the Finance Department has been accused of breaching an undertaking he had given the Supreme Court.
Former Member of Parliament Peter Yama, accusing Stephen Kassman of such a breach, said the undertaking was that his K15.5 million claim against the State would not be brought up in the inquiry while a legal challenge on this claim was pending in the High Court.
The commission wants to inquire into Mr Yamas multi-million-kina claim, allegedly for breach of contract and losses suffered.
The K15.5 million is part of a total claim of more than K30 million.
According to Mr Yama, Mr Kassman, during his appearance in court last month, had given an undertaking that he would not bring up the matter of the claim in the inquiry.
The week, however, the inquiry took evidence from Attorney-General Dr Allan Marat and questioned him over this claim.
Mr Yama said yesterday: Now they have called Dr Marat to give evidence on this case, which is bad. They violated the undertaking.
No order has set aside or withdrawn this undertaking. You are questioning the court by this conduct. That is very disrespectful. His (Kassman) word is as good as a court order. I took his word for it, but he has walked over his own words.
Mr Yama said he was considering contempt of court charges and perjury.
He is asking the court to direct the State to honour a deed of settlement reached over this claim and pay him out.
Re: Snouts in the trough
|June 3 2009, 9:35 AM |
Macata loses court battle
By JULIA DAIA BORE
A NATIONAL Court has ruled that Macata Enterprises Ltd was never entitled to own horse racing machines and, therefore, should not receive any damages from the State for their seizure.
Justice Derek Hartshorn, while handing down this decision last Thursday at Waigani, made this decision while refusing to grant any award of damages in favour of Macata Enterprises.
The company, which owns and operates horse racing gaming machines, took the matter to court and alleged that members of the police illegally seized 180 of the machines and only returned 20 and it commenced a National Court proceeding seeking among others, damages.
A default judgement was entered in favour of Macata with damages to be assessed as the State had not filed its defence.
Macata and the State entered into Deeds of Release concerning damages and costs but the National Court set those aside, Justice Hartshorn hearing the matter said.
He said that consequently, this hearing was before him for an assessment of damages, but last Thursday, having heard the matter from both parties, he refused to grant damages saying: As Macata has not pleaded that it had the requisite approval from the National Gaming and it has not given evidence that it had such approval in any affidavit filed since default judgment was entered, Macata was never entitled to have the horse racing machines in his possession.
It is, therefore, not entitled to any damages as claimed.
He added that the plaintiff (Macata) had therefore, failed to prove the claim that it had made.
|Current Topic - Snouts in the trough|