Trial on damage claim against BSP starts

A 10-day trial over a K2.7 billion lawsuit by Yama Group of Companies against Bank South Pacific has commenced at the Waigani National Court.


The trial started yesterday afternoon with the tendering in of court documents after a preliminary applications to have the trial further adjourned was refused by Justice Ere Kariko.

Yama asked for an adjournment to engage the services of an expat lawyer, preferably a Queen’s Counsel, after he withdrew instructions from his lawyer on Monday morning when the trial was to begin.

He appeared in person in court yesterday.

Businessman Peter Yama filed the lawsuit in 2015, claiming the damage amount after the Supreme Court on December 2014 ruled in favour of Smugglers Inn Ltd and the Yama Group of Companies following a 13-year court battle with Bank South Pacific (formerly PNG Banking Corporation).

A three-man Supreme Court bench then ruled that Smugglers Inn Ltd and the Yama Group had suffered loss of business as a result of the reliance on invalid fixed floating charges by the bank. 

BSP in response filed a counterclaim of K17 million in the same proceeding against Yama Group of Companies.

The court is now in the process in dealing with BSP’s counterclaim before it can hear submissions on Yama’s massive K2.7 billion damage claim.

In this claim, Yama alleges that BSP was involved in a corporate fraud against the Yama Group of Companies.

These consisted of Yama Security Services, Smugglers Inn Resort, Niesenel No 77, Madang Taxi Hire, Siar Coffee Mill, Ace Guards, Simoi Shipping and Yaul Plantation.

The writ of summons against BSP alleges among other things, that BSP opened and operated accounts for Smugglers Inn Resort and Niesenel No 77 real estate company without their knowledge, consent or approval and paid itself, its lawyers and others. 

The trial continues today.

Sally Pokiton