Court Tight-lipped on US$10.7m Ruling

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L-R: Judge Eva Mappy Morgan and George Haddad, who is seeking a US$10.7M judgement against government.

Commercial Court Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan has remained tight-lipped regarding rescheduling her ruling to compel the court to decide whether or not it has the legal jurisdiction to hear the US$10.7 million vehicle case against the government.

The case was filed against the government by Prestige and Alliance Motor Corporation, owned by Lebanese businessman George Haddad.

In what should have been a landmark ruling last Tuesday but which was suspended, information said it was due to the sudden absence of Judge Morgan that caused the suspension of the ruling.

Judge Morgan is yet to communicate with the parties (government and Haddad’s lawyers) as to when she would decide the matter. The case has been going on since 2015.

“There has not been any information why she was not in court to deliver the long awaited ruling,” said a legal source.

The two other judges last week refused to speak or read the court’s ruling in the absence of Chief Judge Morgan, despite persistent plea from Haddad’s legal team to do so.

Prior to the court action, Haddad and his employees were already celebrating the anticipated ruling, which they believed would have allowed them to collect their debt from the government.

Meanwhile a legal source indicated to the Daily Observer that the Liberian government would prefer an out-of-court settlement, rather than continuing with the legal issue.

Haddad’s legal team in 2012 filed an “Action of Debt” against the government, claiming over US$10 million for fleet of vehicles supplied to several public entities, from 2003 to 2006, which he alleged the government has refused to pay.

Haddad is said to have provided spare parts for the vehicles as well as rendering services, which accumulated to US$10.7 million.

The Liberian government admitted crediting the vehicles from Haddad and owed him the amount in question but has insisted that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the matter on grounds that it was established in 2010, which does not gives it any legal right to hear a matter predating its establishment.

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