US$10.7M Ruling Suspended Indefinitely

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Businessman George Haddad (center) is hoping for positive movement in a case has been with the court since 2012 without any decision to determine its merits and demerits.

Several individuals who had gone to listen to a decision whether or not the Commercial Court has the jurisdiction to hear a US$10.7 million vehicle debt case left the court disappointed last Tuesday when they were informed that two of the three judges on the panel have refused to read the ruling in the absence of Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan.

The case was brought against the government by Mr. George Haddad, a Lebanese businessman and owner of Prestige and Alliance Motor Corporation.

Information regarding the indefinite postponement was leaked after Haddad’s legal team and state lawyers returned from an hour of closed door conference with the two judges.

Chief Judge Morgan had scheduled the ruling for last Tuesday. The ruling was expected to focus on whether or not her court has jurisdiction to hear the case.
The matter has been with the court for about a year, and Judge Morgan had promised to look into its merit but could not do so.

It was her absence that prompted the other two judges to quickly ask for a closed–door meeting with the lawyers. After an hour of discussion, Haddad’s lawyers returned and privately told him about the indefinite suspension of the case.
The whereabouts of Judge Morgan was not disclosed. Immediately after he was told about the postponement Mr. Haddad was heard saying “What kind of frustration is this? I don’t know what is happening.”

Haddad would not speak to journalists at the Temple of Justice about his feelings on the matter.

He also did not allow any of his employees to talk about the issue with journalists.

Haddad’s legal team in 2012 filed an “Action of Debt” against the Liberian government, claiming over US$10million for fleets of vehicles he supplied to several public entities dating back to 2003, which he alleges government has refused to settle with him.

He also said he provided spare parts for the cars and serviced them.

The government acknowledged owing Prestige and Alliance Motors, but argued that the court was not the one by law responsible to decide the case.

Government lawyers even argued that the court was established in 2010 by an Act of Legislation, which prevents it from hearing cases that predated its establishment.

They did not say, however, which court in the country by law is clothed with the authority to handle such matters.

It was that decision which the court could not make on Tuesday.

2 COMMENTS

  1. George Haddad, no one can tell him of the inside and outside of this country called Liberia.
    George Haddad started doing his and family business before we were born. I believe that
    Mr. Haddad knows more about Liberia than some of us the natural born Liberians do. Why
    going to that extent?

    Yes! Why Mr. George Haddad would allowed himself to go to the extent of crediting $10,7
    million U>S. dollars to a poor developing country? But business policy would not ever bless
    him for that. When you running a business, you must establish a criteria. Criteria on how
    much you business owner can receive income on a monthly basis; criteria of credit on
    individuals credit limit; criteria on how much you credit the public (Government) and no
    more. If you do not have these set limits in managing a business, any crisis that result in
    what Mr. Haddad is now is the sole responsibility of your ownself.

    When Mr. Haddad starting crediting the Government, did he tell his public customer (the
    Government) that the limit set to crediting it is only up to US$2 million and no more;
    knowing also that his public customer is, indeed, a poor country that is even crediting to
    do development, let alone paying services?

    The problem with Mr. George Haddad’s US$10.7 million dollars is that, in the past, Indians
    and Lebanese could just bill Government without supplying a piece of paper nor rendering
    any services at all. Now, today, all those in Government were young people aware of this
    nefarious practices and are asking themselves: “Ah, why would Mr. Haddad allowed such
    a credit to accumulate to that far?” At least, when Government credit reached US$2 million,
    he should told the public customer that, you have reached your ceiling of US$2 million. Pay
    at least half of it US$1 million dollars before any additional credit.

    Wherefore and in view of the real Liberian experience which Mr. George Haddad should
    have and should have applied, his debt of US$10.7 million dollars is now doubtful one to
    the public. Hence, ,no one to blame but Mr. George Haddad himself.

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