Government defies high court order on Hell’s Point payout

By Alfred Sasako

PRIME Minister Rick Houenipwela’s government appears to be defying a High Court Order that it pays Lever Solomons Ltd $50 million in compensation for the Hell’s Point land in east Honiara.

Judge Rex Faukona made the initial Order on November 2 last year after Lever Solomons Ltd successfully sought the High Court Order.

In it, Justice Faukona ordered that “all persons occupying the lands subject of these proceedings be removed permanently”.

The High Court also ordered that the Defendant (government) pay LSL “a sum of $50,000,000 (fifty million Solomon Islands dollars) together with any sum not already paid to the Claimant by or on behalf of the Defendant in respect of the parcels of land known as Bloody Ridge and more specifically mentioned in the Schedule attached hereto; and

“Upon payment in full of the sums referred to in the foregoing order, the Claimant is to transfer the said lands to the Defendants forthwith,” it says.

The High Court has also ordered that the government pays the claimant’s costs in the proceedings.

Justice Faukona has since issued an enforcement order as well as a Certificate of Orders after delays by the government in making the payment.

Sources told Island Sun in the Chinese capital, Beijing, on the weekend that LSL has again successfully sought a High Court for the payment after the government reneged on its commitment to make the payment by April this year.

The new Order issued on May 23 this year gave the government 12 months to pay up.

To date, the government has only paid LSL $10 million for the Bloody Ridge land nearby.

When contacted, businessman Patrick Wong who is handling the matter, declined to comment except to say he is talking to the government about it.

A background piece on the Hell’s Point saga is on page 6 today.

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