The Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs says in conjunction with the Housing Development Corporation it has re-filed the claim against Jearlean John and other defendants in the High Court for Eden Gardens matter. This, it says, took place last Friday, April 27.
The claim arises out of the misuse of public funds to acquire a property known as Eden Gardens in Chaguanas by the Housing Development Corporation for a sum substantially greater than its open market value.
The claim outlines how the eventual payment of the grossly inflated sum for the lands was as a direct result of the failure of key personnel, who controlled the Housing Development Corporation at that time, to exercise their duties as public officials by taking reasonable, responsible and sensible steps to conduct due diligence on the transaction and the value of the land being acquired.
On February 3, 2010, Point Lisas Park Limited purchased Eden Gardens for $5 million.
On November 28, 2011, Eden Gardens was valued for $52 million by a reputable private valuation firm.
On November 9, 2012, HDC purchased the Eden Gardens lands from Point Lisas Park for $175 million.
It explains that Gerald Ramdeen has indicated that he will accept service of the claim on behalf of Jearlean John.
The other Defendants have been served or are in the process of being served.
In a media release this afternoon Ministry said the re-filingof this claim became necessary after some of the Defendants made a procedural application querying the grant of Orders by the High Court extending the time for the AG and HDC’s service of the claim on the Defendants, whilst they made applications designed to “follow the money”.
On April 17ththis year, the High Court set aside the Orders granting these previous extensions of time for the service of the claim.
It added that the High Court has not determined the substantive issues in this matter, and the setting aside of the Orders of extensions of time, and the dismissal of the previous claim do not affect the State’s ability to re-file this claim.