Embattled former CLICO boss Leroy Parris has won a temporary reprieve in the law courts.
This morning the High Court granted a stay of a recent judgment that requires him to pay back $3.3 million to the company.
However, Parris still faces another legal battle to have a $2.5 million bank account unfrozen.
On Tuesday, a High Court judge upheld an ex parte application filed by the CLICO Judicial Manager – Deloitte Consulting – asking that Parris forfeits the $3.3 million after a forensic audit had shown that the monies were obtained through a fraudulent transaction. The money was channelled to Parris through Thompson and Associates – the law firm of late Prime Minister David Thompson.
However, the embattled former CLICO executive chairman has maintained that the money legitimately belongs to him. After ruling in favour of the Judicial Manager last Tuesday, the presiding judge had adjourned the hearing until February 17, when a final determination was to be made on the payment.
But following a 30 minute sitting in the Number 11 High Court before Mr Justice Olson Alleyne today, Parris’ two attorneys Vernon Smith, QC, and Hal Gollop, QC, said they had asked for, and were granted a stay of the decision.
“This means they [the Judicial Manager] cannot go ahead and do whatever they wanted to do to get the money or to get what they had filed for or go ahead with further [court] proceedings against our client, pending the determination of our matter,” Gollop explained.
He said the court opted to adjourn today’s hearing until February 25 and attached timelines for the case to be completed.
Yesterday, Smith, who is representing Parris’ private company – Branlee Consulting Services, said they had filed an application in the court to have the judgment that was handed down the day before revoked. It is that matter which was heard this morning.
“We made an application for it to be set aside . . . [on] the grounds that everything was done wrongfully and improperly,” Smith told Barbados TODAY after lodging the application yesterday afternoon.
“And I will tell you this, the whole thing shows that there is a serious conspiracy going on in respect of our clients,” he charged.
Forensic auditors from Deloitte Canada, in their report of December 5, 2011, had expressed concern about the payment to Parris, which they described as a fraudulent transaction. The Judicial Manager wants the $3, 333 000 refunded, which they alleged was obtained from CLICO in breach of trust and fiduciary duty.
Almost a year ago, the High Court froze the money on Parris’ account at the Bank of Nova Scotia. It is that same money which Parris’ lawyers are currently fighting to have released and have filed a second constitutional motion to have the court speed up the process of giving a ruling.
The Judicial Manager’s legal team is led by attorney Ramon Alleyne.