Sunday 23 July 2017

Strickland seeks release of legal and executors’ files

With the general election over, this week sees Robert Hornyold-Strickland back in court continuing his quest for justice regarding the estate of his great-aunt, the Hon. Mabel Strickland.
Strickland has two court cases pending which, he contends, “are currently being frustrated by the refusal of Dr Mario de Marco and his family to hand over Mabel’s legal files to the Courts, or to me as her sole universal heir. Dr Max Ganado is also refusing to hand over any of the original executors’ files that his father held up until his death.”
The result of the elections, Strickland suggests, “shows that the Maltese voters were more concerned with the issues of the country’s economic stability than over allegations of corruption by the Government. Many Maltese voters have also not forgotten that the reason the Nationalist Government was ousted in 2013 was because of serious allegations of corruption by some members of their administration.”
“Yet,” he commented, “possibly the biggest unexploded scandal still relates to the issues that I am seeking justice on regarding the Executors’ maladministration of my great-aunt’s estate and their distribution of her Strickland legacies. Hence, I am demanding to have access to all my great-aunt’s legal and administrative files, which have been withheld from me for 28 years.”
One of the two major assets Strickland’s great-aunt was trying to protect for “herself and her heirs in perpetuity” was the Allied Newspapers Group, publishers of the Times of Malta and The Sunday Times of Malta. Strickland comments: “My great-aunt was determined these newspapers would remain independent and free of political interference.”
Strickland contends also that the breach of fiduciary duties, by the erstwhile executors, has resulted in the diversion of over €30 million of assets to the Strickland Foundation, which is now controlled, not by Mabel’s family, but by this ‘clique’ that includes Dr de Marco, who, as a PEP, should not have such direct influence on Malta’s leading English language newspapers. The Foundation has also been in receipt of €3 million of improper dividends from Allied Newspapers at the expense of the estate. Strickland maintains this is never what his great-aunt intended.
Following the deaths of the two original Executors, Prof. Guido de Marco and Dr Joseph Ganado, the Courts have appointed Strickland to complete all remaining executor’s duties. He states: “I am unable to complete these duties in the absence of this vital documentation that, by law, belongs to me.”
Strickland is therefore looking to the Courts to see that full and proper disclosure of all this documentation is made available, since he believes they will shed light on his great-aunt’s intentions and clarify the conflicts in her final will.
“Until I am given proper access to all my great-aunt’s legal and administrative files by this clique of people, who have breached their fiduciary duties, we will never know the truth. So obviously I am hopeful that this week all these files will be released.”

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