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Wednesday February 7, 2007

Casino wins appeal to recover debt


KOTA KINABALU: The Court of Appeal here allowed with costs yesterday the appeal of two foreign casinos to recover RM7.1mil in gambling debts owed by former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Osu Sukam. 

The three-man bench comprising Justices Datuk James Foong, Datuk Abd Hamid Embong and Datuk Mohamad Raus Sharrif held that the High Court judge was wrong to conclude that registering the English High Court judgement pursuant to Section 5 (1) (a) (v) of the Reciprocal Enforcement of the Judgement Act 1958 was against public policy in Malaysia. 

The judges also dismissed the cross appeal with costs of the respondent’s counsel Sugumar Balakrishnan. 

A representative for the appellants, London-based Ritz Hotel Casino Ltd compliance director Alexa Brummer was elated when leading judge Justice Foong read the judgement. 

She was accompanied by an instructing solicitor from Kuala Lumpur Ruben Mathiavaranam. 

Osu was not present. 

Ritz Hotel Casino and RHC Ltd, were represented by counsel Colin Lau. 

Following a judgement obtained by the English High Court when the respondent failed to appear in the London Court over a bounced cheque he issued to the casino in 2002, the appellants made an application to register the judgement in the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak on Sept 13, 2004. 

However, on July 5, 2005, High Court judge Datuk Ian H.C. Chin dismissed the application by the casinos to enforce the judgement against Osu for RM7,142,859.98 in gambling debts. – Bernama  

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