Steve Ferguson –
FORMER government minister Brian Kuei Tung and businessmen Steve Ferguson and Raul Gutierrez Jr have appealed the final judgment of the Miami-Dade 11th Judicial Circuit Court and all rulings and orders in the case.
Their notices of appeal were filed hours after the Miami-Dade judge, Reemberto Diaz, entered final judgment for Trinidad and Tobago on May 15, for the three to pay US$131,318,840.47 over criminal conduct linked to the construction of the Piarco Airport development project almost three decades ago.
Ferguson’s was filed the same day the judge entered the final judgment. Kuei Tung and Gutierrez’s was filed the next day.
No date has yet been set for a hearing in the Third District Court of Appeal.
The judge’s final order is that the three are to pay US$97,157,964.00 which constitutes treble damages of the jury verdict amount of US$32,385,988.00 plus US$38,792,567.72 prejudgment interest on the jury verdict amount.
These sums are minus US$4,631,691.25, which constituted a set off from paid settlements and restitution from former defendants in the matter.
On May 15, Rural and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi, TT’s representative, who retained the case as former attorney general when Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, was disqualified earlier this year, said the State was expected to begin enforcement proceedings immediately, as soon as the three declare their assets for tracing.
Brian Kuei Tung –
Al-Rawi said the recovery of the restitution owed to TT would run separate from any appeal the three chose to lodge. He also said if the defendants wished to stop the execution of the judgment while they appeal the matter, they will have to put up a bond for the entire judgment, which is almost TT$1 billion, as well as two years’ interest.
The entering of the final judgment came after several unsuccessful motions by the three challenging the multi-million-dollar verdicts against them.
They had asked for the jury’s verdict of March 29 to be set aside, for a new trial, and entry of the final judgment.
Diaz denied all these.