State appeals against T&T Clico policyholders

(Trinidad Express) The State has filed an appeal against the March 12 judgment that ruled in favour of the CLICO Policyholders Group, which awarded the group TT$300 million.

The Express was informed that 21 grounds of appeal were filed on Friday.

The State has also filed an application for an urgent hearing of the appeal and a stay of execution on payments until the appeal is heard.

The hearing for the application’s approval will be next Monday at the Port of Spain High Court.

High Court Judge Joan Charles last month ruled the CLICO bailout plan presented by the People’s Partnership Government was unlawful.

The State was ordered to pay a group of Executive Flexible Premium Annuity policyholders all the money they invested in the failed insurance giant, plus interest.

The Policyholders Group contended the bailout plan presented by the former People’s National Movement administration amounted to a guarantee policyholders would be reimbursed the funds they held in the cash-strapped conglomerate.

Charles agreed, saying in her judgment: “It is declared that the claimants are the beneficiaries of legitimate expectations engendered by representations made to them by or on behalf of the government that (i) the Government would ensure that their funds in CLICO would be safe and that it would guarantee repayment of all monies due to them; and (ii) the Government would make good the deficit in the Statutory Fund.”

“We have no objections and look forward to the appeal being heard expeditiously,” Policyholders Group attorney Ramesh Lawrence-Maharaj said yesterday via telephone.

Chairman of CL Financial Gerald Yetming was out of the country when the Express contacted him, but said he had “no clue” as to whether the appeal had been filed.

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan told the Express yesterday that when the ruling had been passed down, he had given immediate instructions for it to be appealed, and while he was not certain of the date the appeal would have been filed, by now it should have been.

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