BROOKLYN, N.Y., Dec. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal judge dismissed all claims brought against Les Telecommunications D'Haiti S.A.M (TELECO), Haiti's local telecommunications provider, by Haiti Telecommunications International S.A. (HAITEL) and its founder Franck Cine. In a sweeping ruling Judge Jack B. Weinstein rejected all accusations that TELECO had used its influence as a government-controlled entity to extort licensing fees from Haitel with the objective of driving it out of business.
Bertrand Madsen of Madsen Law, P.C. who represented TELECO noted, "This ruling is a testament to the rule of law. Judge Weinstein's decision is a warning to those who purport to contract with corporations by dealing with rogue employees who act beyond their authority."
Cine and HAITEL – represented by the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Guy A. Lewis of the law firm LEWIS TEIN PL – sought an award of more than US$ 240 million, representing the value of Mr. Cine's personal assets (US$ 96.75 million) and HAITEL'S assets (US$ 150 million) which have been seized in on-going bankruptcy proceedings in Haiti. Under the terms of a dubious agreement signed by the parties in 1998, Mr. Cine and HAITEL also sought an order compelling TELECO to arbitrate their claims in Bermuda.
TELECO argued that the arbitration agreement was null and void because its representative had exceeded the scope of his employment powers when he signed it without authorization from the company's board of directors. According to Madsen, "This contract was signed under dubious circumstances by Teleco's general director in 1998, without any involvement from Teleco's board of directors and in contravention to Haitian law."
Following a two-day trial, Judge Weinstein ruled that TELECO had no obligation to submit to arbitration because the parties' agreement was invalid. The judge found that TELECO's case had been proven "by clear and convincing evidence" and that "Haitel has no right to arbitrate disputes it has with TELECO."
Salim Succar, a spokesperson for Cabinet Lissade in Haiti, stated that with the ruling "justice had prevailed."
Bertrand Madsen of MADSEN LAW P.C. and Silvia Serpe of SERPE RYAN LLP – both former Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District of New York – represented TELECO in the United States, and Louis Gary Lissade of Cabinet Lissade did so in Haiti.
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SOURCE Madsen Law, P.C.