Litigation looms for Trinidad’s Hart
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday May 02, 2012 – Civil proceedings are set to be initiated against Calder Hart, former executive chairman of the Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott), in relation to the controversial Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
The claim is expected to be filed in the Port-of-Spain High Court and is aimed at recovering approximately $400million incurred on cost overruns.
Since its conceptualisation in 2003, under the former People’s National Movement administration, the controversial construction project has been plagued by a combination of cost overruns and shoddy work.
The original cost of the stadium, which was expected to host the 2007 Cricket World Cup in Tarouba, was estimated at $272million.
Taxpayers are now burdened with a $1billion debt. An eyesore that is no closer to being completed adds insult to injury.
The claim, legal sources revealed, is the first of a number of civil proceedings that are expected to follow in relation to other Udecott projects.
Also under scrutiny is the question of $368million awarded to Udecott for construction of the Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower. To date, however, investigations into whether criminal proceedings would be initiated against Hart are unknown.
A lead detective in the matter only said: “Investigations into Hart are still ongoing. The matter is very sensitive at this stage.”
Hart left the country days after his March 6, 2010 resignation from Udecott and subsequently placed his Cascade mansion on the market. He was reportedly last seen in the company of his wife Sherrine in the United States.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley first raised the issues at Udecott and called for Hart’s removal.