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AG to get info on Milshirv contracts
The company behind the controversial Milshirv administrative complex in Tobago has resisted moves to stop the project by claiming it has already entered into more than $100 million in contracts with various sub-contractors.
During a case-management conference in the Port-of-Spain High Court yesterday, attorneys representing the company, Milshirv Properties Ltd, made the disclosure and agreed to disclose the relevant documents and contracts to the office of the Attorney General for its consideration.
On January 15, Justice James Aboud granted the State leave by to pursue a judicial review claim questioning the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) authority to enter into the deal with the company. The deal is reportedly worth approximately $320 million. The THA reportedly took the decision on April 13, 2011. The administrative building is intended to accommodate the Division of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment of the THA.
The State is seeking declarations that the decision to enter into the build-own-lease-transfer (Bolt) arrangement with Rahael Holdings Ltd for the construction and financing of an administrative complex was illegal. The lawsuit also claims the deal was contrary to the THA Act and the Central Tenders Board Act.
The State is also asking for the decision made by the Orville London-led THA to be quashed and the deed of lease between the THA and Milshirv Properties set aside as well as the deed of licence and deed of mortgage between Milshirv Properties and First Citizens.
According to the facts in the case, on November 15, 2011, the THA purchased three acres of land at the corner of Shirvan and Milford Roads for $12 million from Dankett Ltd. Six days later, the THA leased the same three-acre property for 199 years at an annual rent of $10 to Milshirv. The lease document said Milshirv would construct an office building and facilities which it would then rent to the THA for 20 years at $1.3 million a month.
The company was represented by Douglas Mendes, SC, and Michael Quamina, while the THA was represented by John Jeremie, SC, and Kerwin Garcia. The State’s legal team included Alvin Fitzpatrick, SC, Lesley Lucky-Samaroo and Martin George.
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