Can Attorney Bernard Georges pull another rabbit out of the bag?

THE case of the Russian owners of the Savoy Hotel against Vijay Construction has been going on for so long that observers are beginning to wonder if there are any more cards that Vijay’s lawyer Bernard Georges has got left to deal.Both Vijay and Georges have their backs against the wall, or so it seems, since last Friday’s Supreme Courthearing in which Judge Carolus agreed to give Vijay a 14-day Stay of Execution following the ruling on June 30th in which the Judge had ruled that Vijay Construction must pay Euro 20.2 million to the Savoy owners EEEL.

Many are saying that they are down but not out and that Bernard Georges is known locally to have the ability to be able to pull a rabbit out of an empty hat and can also make tons of money disappear in thin air. But his detractors are saying that he is now older and slower with an impossible task before him.The appeal against the original ruling of Judge Carolus delivered on 30th June 2020 is expected later in the year. This is a long running saga between Vijay Construction and EEEL that has gone all the way to Europe to resolve a breach of contract issue between the two companies going back to 2011. Eastern European Engineering Limited (EEEL) was awarded compensation against Vijay Construction and the construction company succeeded in dodging enforcement for almost ten long years. Vijay made maximum use of his influence and high level contacts in Seychelles to keep EEEL at bay. However, in 2020 the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award, like the one EEEL got before the Industrial Tribunal in Paris in 2014 was ratified into Seychelles law. This meant that the ruling EEEL had against Vijay became enforceable and even the mighty attorney has been shaken by this latest development.

They were before the court again on Friday 24th July after a petition had been filed by the Attorney Bernard Georges, who was asking the Judge Carolus to grant a stay of execution by suspending the enforcement of the ruling until the appeal process is completed. Judge Carolus ruled in favour of the petition and suspended enforcement and unfreeze the bank accounts of the construction company with strict conditions in place.The Vijay Construction company now has 14 days to provide the Court with a bank guarantee for Euro 20 million. In the event that Vijay Construction (Pty) Ltd fails to provide the bank guarantee in the time frame stipulated by the Court the ruling will become enforceable straight away.

After the Court hearing on Friday (24th July) Bernard Georges had to face the waiting media to pro-vide answers to their questions on the matter. It was clear that the normally chirpy Attorney had the wind knocked out of his sail and the writing on the wall had become very clear to him and his client. After out-running EEEL for ten years the Russian owners and their partners in the Savoy Hotel had finally caught up with them and has Vijay Patel cornered.