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Denton Developer has trial date set in Caribbean
A property developer is facing a major legal battle in the Caribbean islands where he is accused of bribing members of a former Government.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) has confirmed its civil recovery unit is making a claim against Richard Padgett, from Denton, near Ilkley, and Oceanpoint Develop-ments in connection with the attempted construction of the multi-million pound Third Turtle Club.
A statement from TCIG said: “TCIG’s claim against the Third Turtle develop-ers Richard Padgett and Oceanpoint Development Ltd is continuing, with a trial expected to take place in January 2013.”
It is believed the claim is to terminate a development agreement, and claim damages and costs.
Several news outlets in the Caribbean have quoted a lawyer, Aziz Rahman, acting on behalf of Mr Padgett, saying he has a “long and blameless history as a successful businessman” and is “disappointed” with the civil action and will “forcefully protect” his interests.
The trial date was revealed as the Government announced a $7 million deal with another foreign investor to settle claims between them.
The deal was struck between the authorities, Mario Hoffmann and the Salt Cay Development companies in connection with land at Salt Cay, and also includes 1,506 acres of land being returned to the Government.
Mr Padgett is also facing criminal charges in relation to the Third Turtle Club, with the case due to come back to court next month.
He is alleged to have paid more than $1 million to former deputy prime minister, Floyd Hall, and his Progressive National Party during attempted construction of the Third Turtle Club in Providenciales.
It is understood Mr Padgett and eight other people, including Mr Hall and three other former ministers, will stand trial on various charges, including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the TCIG.
The charges were filed by a Special Investigation and Prosecution Team set up in the wake of the British Government’s suspension of the TCIG constitution and its imposition of direct British rule.
Charges against Mr Padgett relate to alleged payments uncovered by a Commission of Inquiry in 2009, led by Sir Robin Auld, the UK’s former Lord Chief Justice of Appeal, and concern the Third Turtle Club and Spa.
The building of the club, which stopped in 2010 despite Mr Padgett allegedly spending more than $20 million on it, was strongly opposed by local people.