BoB drops bid to contest fraud allegations

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has dropped their bid to contest the fraud allegations levelled by EBC Guernsey, despite maintaining that the bank is not liable to any artifice.

Yesterday the bank, through a consent order with EBC, agreed not to contest proof of fraud from the finance company that included evidence of an expert witness.

The court had last month referred the matter for oral evidence after the bank was accused of forging a High Court stamp on their court documents filed on the basis of appearance to defend.

EBC had accused BoB of failing to file the documents for appearance to defend and when they realised that the company was to be granted default judgement, the bank forged the documents.

EBC Guernsey had demanded a P27 million payment from the bank after the collapse of Kingdom Bank, which was regulated by BoB.

BoB lawyer, Ana Milovanovic and EBC senior counsel, Panayiotis Stais told the court that they had agreed on a draft order and that all the witnesses be released.

Stais said as EBC, neither the bank nor they intend on leading any evidence, and therefore they are in agreement that all witnesses should be released.

The parties failed to agree on costs, with EBC seeking to be awarded payment of the bill, while BoB disputed that since there was a consent order, costs should be determined after the argument of the rescission application. 

Milovanovic had argued that in their interest to protect their client they were willing to pay the costs of the application and that of the attorney.  

Stais, however, wanted the costs for the attorney on client, of two counsels and that of the witness expert, to be paid. Following lengthy submissions from both attorneys, Gaborone High Court judge, Zein Kebonang ordered that BoB pay all costs sought by EBC including the three days that were scheduled for trial at varying percentages.

Kebonang said BoB by not contesting allegations of fraud admitted to wrongdoing, therefore they needed to pay all the costs.

“Despite the allegations not proven through led evidence, still, by not contesting them means you are admitting to the allegations.  Therefore, it is only fair to pay the costs,” he said.  Application for rescission will be heard on January 25, 2016.

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