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Stabroek News

Civil suit against Panton on hold
published: Friday | February 17, 2006

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

THE COURT of Appeal has stopped the hearing of the $2 billion lawsuit against Kingston businessman Donald Panton.

A stay of proceedings in the Supreme Court was granted until the court hears an appeal next week Wednesday. The court is to decide whether Court of Appeal Judge Howard Cooke was correct last week Wednesday when he refused to grant them a stay.

In granting the stay, the court awarded costs against the Government-owned Financial Institutions Services Ltd. which has sued the Pantons.

COURT GRANTED

On Monday the court granted the stay and directed the lawyers to get a date from the Registrar of the Court of Appeal for the hearing of the appeal. After consulting with the Registrar, the date was agreed.

Mr. Panton and his wife Janet and their son Jeffrey who are defendants in the suit are appealing Mr. Justice Cooke's ruling. President of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Justice Paul Harrison, Mr. Justice Algernon Smith and Mrs. Justice McCalla heard the application.

Mr. R. N. A Henriques, Q. C. and attorney-at-law Abe Dabdoub represented the Pantons.

The Pantons had been without legal representation since last week Monday when Mr. Justice Donald McIntosh refused to grant them an adjournment in the Supreme Court.

CIVIL SUIT PUT OFF

Attorney-at-law Abe Dabdoub, who said he had been recently retained in the civil suit, had applied for the adjournment.

They took the issue to the Court of Appeal and Mr. Justice Cooke heard the application.

Mr. Justice McIntosh on being informed of the Court of Appeal's ruling, put off the civil suit for mention on Thursday. FIS has already closed its case in the civil suit.

The law firm Chancellor and Co. had represented the Pantons, but on January 27 the Court of Appeal granted an order for the firm to remove its name from the records.

The Pantons and other defendants were sued in 1995 arising from the collapse of the Blaise Financial entities in 1994. The Government had to pay millions of dollars to depositors and is now seeking to recover the money.

Attorney-at-law Raymond Clough is also a defendant in the suit.

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