A judge presiding over a lawsuit on the late Mabel Strickland’s inheritance expressed his disappointment at the two parties’ refusal to reach a settlement.
“I don’t know what’s between you, but it baffles me as to why both sides are refusing to reach an intelligent compromise,” Mr Justice Silvio Meli remarked.
Strickland’s nephew Robert Hornyold-Strickland is in litigation with the executors of his aunt’s inheritance.
The executors, Joseph Ganado and the late Guido de Marco, created the Strickland Foundation, of which Ganado is chairman, and which serves as the trust that owns Allied Newspapers, which publishes The Times.
Hornyold Strickland, who is Allied Newspaper’s second-largest shareholder with 13.3% of the company, is seeking title over Villa Parisio, the home which Strickland allegedly left to the Strickland Foundation, which now limits the historical Lija home to just two rooms.
Hornyold Strickland is claiming his late aunt’s will was changed in 1979 unbeknownst to him, while he was living in Britain.
As he took the witness stand again under cross examination, Judge Meli asked lawyers from both sides whether they could reach “a peaceful coexistence agreement” on the use of Villa Parisio, to relieve the case from a chunk of the contestations.
Meli said a partial sentence could not be handed down, “given that both sides are seemingly refusing any intelligent compromise.”
The court also warned the two sides that “justice requires prudence… it is not prepared to go down the road of eternal argumentation.”
Hornyold Strickland claims he only found out last month that his late aunt’s will had been changed after she died on 29 November 1988.
Without mentioning the name of the executors who became his aunt’s legal advisors, Hornyold Strickland said that they had assisted her in revising her will, effectively prevented him from inheriting the bulk of her estate, which included Villa Parisio where he had lived as a young man.
Instead, in the new revised will he was given the rights of use and habitation at villa.
While claiming to have been usurped of his right to the estate because of the revised will, Hornyold Strickland said that as heir had to foot the “substantial” bill of his late aunt’s succession duty, and it took him some time to settle the amount with the State.
“After my aunt died, strangely most of the beds were removed from the bedrooms at Villa Parisio, and most of the baths from each bathroom… I interpreted this as a move to make Villa Parisio in Lija uninhabitable for my family and I,” Hornyold Strickland.
The heir also expressed dismay at the fact that he had been constantly denied access to his aunt’s “volumes of personal correspondence and files” which were allegedly held inside at least 20 filing cabinets, now mostly removed from Villa Parisio and which he claimed legally belonged to him as heir.
Judge calls on Strickland heirs to reach peaceful coexistence
Judge expresses disappointment over quarrelling Strickland heirs for not reaching agreement for ‘peaceful coexistence’ at Villa Parisio in Lija.
January 17, 2013