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Court can go ahead without Hart—lawyer
The court can proceed with the civil matter should former executive chairman of the Urban Development Company of T&T (Udecott) fail to appear, says senior attorney Rajiv Persad. Persad, a former High Court judge, said so in an interview in response to Government’s decision to file proceedings against Hart in a lawsuit claim.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, at a news conference on Tuesday at the Waterfront Complex, Port-of-Spain, said the State wanted to recover billions of taxpayers’ dollars from the “fiasco” surrounding the construction of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and the Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower, Port-of-Spain.
The lawsuit claimed Hart concealed his family connection with CH Development and Construction Pte Ltd, which successfully bid to construct the Legal Affairs Tower. On the issue of the lawsuit, Persad said there also were certain procedures to be followed. He said Hart first would have to be served with the suit so he could have ample time to prepare his own case.
He added If Hart could not be located to be served personally then newspaper advertisements would be placed detailing civil proceedings have been brought against him. “Once all the procedures are followed the case could proceed without him being present. The procedures are very straightforward, in that if Mr Hart cannot be served then the State can proceed to get judgment," Persad added.
He said unlike criminal cases where it was mandatory to attend court each time the matter was called, civil proceedings did not follow suit. Hart, who lives in Newriver Drive, East Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has denied he acted dishonestly or corruptly. He denied the allegations in a letter dated November 12, 2011. This was in response to a pre-action protocol letter sent to his residence in Florida.
Hart said while allegations of misconduct were being levelled against him he had not been furnished with the relevant documents to substantiate the claims. At Tuesday’s news briefing, Ramlogan also said similar civil suits were expected to be filed which would involve former board members of several State enterprises. He listed those enterprises as:
• Scarborough hospital.
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