The United Alliance indicated that “the British Supreme Court, Queen’s Bench Division, headed by Judge Justice Friedman, issued today a decision obligating the defendant Bank of Beirut to pay the amount of 7,790,624 US dollars to the plaintiff George Gabriel Bitar.”
The amount must be paid with an annual interest rate of 9% in Bitar’s favor, due from the date of the request or the obligation to transfer the amount until the actual payment with retroactive effect.
“United” pointed out in a statement that the decision refuted the compelling reasons as follows:
- The bank had a contractual obligation to make international transfers as requested by the plaintiff, which the bank refused to make.
- The contractual obligation between the two parties is in accordance with the context of its occurrence, including the words used and the intention of the parties, taking into account the context of the agreement.
- Custom is not considered as part of this context in the existence of the contract, except to reinforce the premises of the contract when it occurs.
- The respondent bank is liable to the plaintiff for failure to respond to its requests for successive transfers of the amount required for the treatment of a diseased condition.
- The need for appropriate treatment for the diseased condition is the basis for the obligation to pay the required amount without deduction, and the interest due is due from the date on which each transfer is required.
“Perhaps the Lebanese judiciary will learn and rise up to lift the shame that befell it as a result of the unfair complicity of a number of judges with the banks,” the statement concluded.
The Lebanese banks have imposed strict capital control measures at the onset of the economic crisis, severely restricting depositors’ access to their money.
This has materialized as people’s main hardship during the ongoing crisis in Lebanon, adding to the huge losses depositors have incurred with the local currency’s major devaluation while their funds are locked in banks.
Just recently, a depositor desperate for his money held a bank hostage for some seven hours in Beirut to then go on a hunger strike in custody.
Related: Everything You Need To Know About Capital Control And Its Impact On Lebanon.