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PM Browne: The Liquidation of LIAT Without Settlement of Liabilities Should Be Resisted

St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): There are clear differences between the shareholder governments over how the LIAT situation should be handled.

Antigua’s Gaston Browne says it will be a form of State banditry if the majority shareholding group of LIAT is opportunistically allowed to collapse this regional institution and form a new entity without honoring the institution’s liabilities to creditors.

In a letter, which begins with the words “Dear All”, published in Antigua Newsroom Thursday, Antiguan Prime Minister says creditors including the staff of LIAT, for decades provided service and credit to LIAT as an insolvent institution knowing that they had the backing of the shareholding states.

For these states to walk away from their liabilities, is morally reprehensible and perhaps illegal, Browne argues.

He says from his limited professional studies, he was taught, that, directors who knowingly operate an insolvent company, are liable for wrongful and possibly fraudulent trading.

He says too that the members of the shareholding board of LIAT participated as directors over the years and presided over most of the major decisions of LIAT, including the ill-fated re-fleeting.

According to Gaston Browne, the liquidation of LIAT without settling liabilities should be resisted by creditors and other stakeholders.

He says the possibility of legal action to stop the liquidation and protect the interest of creditors should not be ruled out.

“The state has an obligation to protect, not hide behind legal arguments and exploit vulnerable creditors,” Prime Minister Browne says.

Meanwhile, LIAT Pilots have hinted at the possibility of legal action to get the cash-strapped airline to meet its obligation towards the severance payment to pilots.

Pilots Association President Patterson Thompson says a lot of pilots have given their entire adult life to LIAT.

According to Thompson, the company has a moral obligation to pay severance.

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