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Judge declines to step aside in Dusit D2 hotel bias claim – Business Daily

Dusit D2 complex. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A judge has declined to disqualify himself from the hearing of a multibillion-shilling dispute suit where DusitD2 hotel stands over accusations of bias.
Justice Alfred Mabeya dismissed an application by the owner of the property –Cape Holdings– to disqualify himself from the case saying he did not make any adverse inference on the contract that is the subject matter of the case but only expressed his view regarding the timing of the administration being challenged.
The property on 14 Riverside Drive was to be auctioned in January after Cape Holdings ltd lost an 11-year-old court battle with Synergy Industrial Credit, which is demanding Sh4.2 billion plus interest after a botched sale deal.
I&M Bank, however, rushed to court to block the sale arguing that the property owner owes it Sh2.82 billion. The application was rejected by Justice Mabeya as he questioned the timing of the decision to place the property under administration.
“The allegation that the applicant would not be accorded a fair hearing has no basis. The prayer for recusal is dismissed,” the judge said.
The sale has since been halted after Cape Holdings and I&M moved to the Court of Appeal.
Several cases touching on the property are pending before the Court of Appeal, including an application for review of the award of Sh5.4 billion.
The deal to purchase part of the building started in 2011 when Synergy sought two blocks in the complex, once it was complete.
The initial plan was to construct a residential building but this changed and the proprietor decided to go with office suites, targeting the growing list of clients aiming for offices in high-end areas.
The parties negotiated a total of 14 agreements and in the end, agreed that Synergy could have an office block known as Grosvenor plus 104 parking bays at a price of Sh703 million.
The deal fell through sparking a court fight that lasted 10 years.
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