A British Columbia Supreme Court judge will not extend an injunction order recently imposed on David Radler, the former Hollinger International executive, and his business, F.D. Radler Ltd.
Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge told the courtroom on Tuesday there was not sufficient evidence to prove there was pending risk of “dissipation of assets” in Mr Radler’s case - a concern that had led to a Mareva injunction.
A Mareva injunction - which, according to Canadian law, freezes the assets of a “rogue” party in order to prevent disposing of assets before damages are recovered - is “sweeping and highly intrusive in its terms,” added Judge Wedge.
Hollinger obtained a temporary asset freeze as part of an ex parte application late last month.
Mr Radler and F.D. Radler have been named in a lawsuit filed by Hollinger against a number of parties, claiming breach of fiduciary duty and oppressive conduct.
Mr Radler, his former boss Lord Conrad Black, and several other former executives at Hollinger International are all defendants in this civil action case, which is seeking C$750m (US$659m, £346m, €515m) in damages.
The freeze was scheduled to expire on November 9, but Hollinger was requesting it be maintained until the conclusion of the lawsuit in the Ontario Superior Court.
The temporary freeze, imposed October 25, prevented Lord Black’s former right-hand man from spending more than C$25,000 a month.
Hollinger’s lawyers claimed Mr Radler was moving his assets beyond their reach and at that point decided to obtain the injunction to prevent him from disposing of their assets. The monthly allowance, which was allotted to the businessman a few weeks ago, was to cover living expenses and legal fees.
The judge also said Mr Radler is being closely monitored by US authorities because of his guilty plea to a single count of fraud in September 2005.
As part of his plea bargain, the former top executive is expected to serve a 29-month prison sentence. This is after he is likely to testify against Lord Black in a US court next March.
The former chief executive of Hollinger International is facing charges of racketeering and fraud in the US. The two former colleagues have denied all the accusations that they siphoned money and abused perks from Lord Black’s media holding companies.