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Friday 29 August 2014

Fingleton no-show for court hearing

Dearbhail McDonald

Published 09/07/2014 | 02:30

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Michael Fingleton. Photo: Frank McGrath
Michael Fingleton. Photo: Frank McGrath

THE former chief of the Irish Nationwide Building Society has once again failed to turn up in a court in Montenegro to explain how his "most valuable asset" was bought.

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Michael Fingleton ploughed €5.5m of his own money into a hotel project in the Mediterranean port of Kotor, situated on the west coast of Montenegro, the former Yugoslavia.

But the project has collapsed and New Fjord Developments (NFD), the company behind the deal, has been placed into bankruptcy.

Mr Fingleton was due to appear in the commercial court in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, yesterday.

But he did not appear and his legal representatives said he had other business interests to attend to.

Commercial Court judge Dragica Vujanovic ordered a new hearing for September 12 next at which point the case will proceed with or without Mr Fingleton.

Funds

NFD was placed into receivership by the Commercial Court in Podgorica three years ago.

Mr Fingleton is being sued for damages of some €6.5m by his former business partner Louis Maguire, the Irish developer whose company – United European Partners Montenegro (UEP) – held a 25pc share in NFD.

The origin of the funds used to buy the now dilapidated hotel is part of a major dispute between Mr Fingleton and UEP.

Last night Mr Fingleton's son, Michael Fingleton Junior, said the case in Montenegro was "completely spurious" and insisted he and his father had "proven the source of the funds".

"Mr Maguire simply has no case, yet for his own baffling reasons he seems determined to stymie this project and damage its value as much as possible, while our intention, from the very beginning, has been to push ahead and give the municipality and people of Kotor the project they deserve," he said.

Irish Independent

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