Ferguson to appeal Miami judgement in Piarco scandal

Home*Cover Story*News

Ferguson to appeal Miami judgement in Piarco scandal

After being found liable in a multi-million-dollar civil asset forfeiture claim in relation to the redevelopment of the Piarco International Airport, 22 years ago, businessman Steve Ferguson says he intends to appeal the ruling passed down by a Miami jury on Wednesday.

The matter was initiated by the Government in order to recoup US$37 million from those accused of corruption which included Ferguson, former Minister of Finance Brian Kuei Tung and US-based businessman Raul Gutierrez.

The State maintained that Ferguson, Kuei Tung and Gutierrez conspired with others to corrupt the bidding process on two construction packages and the maintenance contract for the airport.

However, Ferguson, in a Newsday interview, asserted that several elements of the case were prejudicial and that his attorneys have begun working on filing an appeal.

He also accused Al-Rawi of entering false statements during the trial.

Referring to issues that were raised when Kuei Tung was unable to attend a deposition owing to eye surgery on the same day, Ferguson said he was concerned his fellow defendant was not treated fairly.

Ferguson also claimed that the jury in the matter were able to arrive at a verdict in an hour and remarked that it often takes years to understand how contracts are awarded and what procedures were followed before a conclusion could be made.

On Wednesday, Al-Rawi said the State was entitled to prejudgment interest of at least US$25 million, but Ferguson contended that it was too early to make such remarks. He also said the final judgment will be in excess of US$100 million (TT$700 million).

Ferguson to the media house: “It is a real farce and our attorneys have already assured us that they will do it (appeal).