ROSEAU, Dominica, May 4, CMC – The Dominica High Court has set aside a judgement against the former managing director of Marpin Telecoms and Broadcasting, Ron Abraham, who had been ordered to pay EC$16.2 million (US$6 million) to the company’s liquidator after the court had ruled on March 2 that he carried out the company’s business with reckless disregard to its obligation to pay its debt.
Justice Brian Cottle in his ruling had said that Abraham, who now resides in Britain, was “personally responsible for the debts and other liabilities of the company amounting EC$16, 261,819 (US$6.01 million) to liquidator Keron Pinard Byrne.
“Abraham was also in breach of trust in relation to the company applying to his personal use of EC$971,981.65 (US$359, 992) being the property of the company and that he should pay that sum and that he shall also pay the cost of his application in the sum of $10,000 (US$3, 703)”.
But Abraham’s lawyer Lennox Lawrence said that the matter will now be retried.
“It was an extremely adverse judgement against Mr. Abraham. In fact the judge held that Mr. Abraham had been a party to knowingly carrying out the business of Marpin with reckless disregard to the company’s obligations to pay it debt, “Lawrence said, adding “it was an extremely comprehensive judgement that was made against him.
He said on March 8, his client filed an application to set aside the judgement and that on May 1, Justice Cottle granted the application.
“So as it stands right now , assuming that the liquidator would still be interested, the matter will now have to go to court for trial,” he added.
Pinard-Byrne, who had in March argued that due process had been followed, said he has responsibility to act in the interest of creditors of the company.
“My job as liquidator is to give a proper account of the 16 million dollars of creditors that are involved in this matter,” he said listing the Inland Revenue Department and the Dominica Social Security among those stakeholders.
“They all deserve a proper accounting of why they have not been paid their 16 million dollars (and) in accordance with my duties under the company’s act I brought this case against Mr. Abraham,” he added.
In 2004, bankers for Marpin Telecoms and Broadcasting appointed a receiver to protect their interest as a secured creditor and for over four years, the company was fully under the control of the receiver.
The receiver eventually sold the assets of the company to what is now known as Marpin 2K4.