Monrovia - Commercial Court Judge Eva Mappy Morgan Thursday, December 14, adjourned hearing for two weeks into the US$10.7 million debt case filed against the Government of Liberia, by Lebanese businessman George Haddad.
The court’s decision was based on an appeal made by State lawyer and Assistant Justice Minister for Litigation, Cllr. Joseph Fayiah, in the bid to hold consultation with the petitioner (Haddad) and his legal counsel, headed by Cllr. Moses Paegar.
“Your honour the State will like to pray for continuance in other to hold consultations with the petitioner in order to narrow some of the issues in the case for the court,” said Cllr. Joseph Fayiah.
Petitioner’s lawyer, Cllr. Moses Paegar, interposed no objection to the request made by the State lawyer indicating that the petitioner has always been willing to participate in any consultation that the State deems necessary in the case.
“In resistance, petitioner’s lawyer interposed no objection to request as the petitioner has always been willing for any consultation from the State but they are the ones, who have not been cooperating,” said Cllr. Paegar.
Prior to the decision taken by the court to adjourn the trial, Presiding Judge Eva Mappy Morgan stated that the decision to adjourn the case was based on the decision reached by the parties in the case and let it be known that the court is not the one who is delaying the case, Judge Mappy added.
This is the second time that State prosecutors in the case have prayed the court for continuance (time) in-order to consult the relevant authorities including the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on the matter.
The first time the state prosecutor, Cllr. Joseph Fayiah prayed the court for same was in November of this year when the case was called for hearing where he pleaded with the court for time in other to review the case file.
Petitioner’s lawyer, Cllr. Moses Paegar rejected the plea adding that it was not done in good faith but intended to frustrate and deny the petitioner justice in keeping with law.
Presiding Judge Mappy also rejected the plea from the State prosecutor to suspend the case but following chamber consultation with both parties, her decision was paused and the case was assigned for another date.
In 2015, petitioner Haddad, as head of the Alliance and Prestige Motors, representing the American and German auto dealer in Monrovia, had sued the Government of Liberia headed by Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for refusing to pay for vehicles and spare parts supplied the government in 2003 and up to 2004 amounting to US$10.7 million.
According Cllr. Moses Paegar, argument before the Commercial Court during the start of the case in 2015, the US$10.7 million debt owned by the government has since accumulated huge interest due to the failure to pay the debt in the last 10 years of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led government.