Hearing resumes as German tycoon now says he owns Watamu hotel : The Standard

Hearing resumes as German tycoon now says he owns Watamu hotel : The Standard
German investor Hans Jurgen Langer at Mombasa Law courts. [Joackim Bwana, Standard]

The hearing of a protracted case of five-star hotel ownership pitting a German investor Hans Juergen Langer against Kenyan Isaac Rodrot and Italian Stephano Uccelli is set to resume tomorrow at Mombasa High Court.

Langer has sued the Italian firm that, initially, owned the Sh2 billion hotel seeking a favourable interpretation of the two High Court rulings, which purported to have handed the hotel back to the original owners after a court ruling in Milan, Italy gave it to Langer.
The German has maintained that he is the legal owner of the property and dismissed reports by his rivals that he had lost the hotel following the August 24 appellate court ruling.
“The issue is still in court. The Court of Appeal did not hand over the hotel to the other parties,” said Mr Langer, adding that reports that he had lost ownership of the hotel had created panic among the tourists who had booked for their December holidays.
In the August 21 ruling, the appellate court ruled that Temple Point Resort had been, prematurely enjoined in the Mombasa High Court suit filed by Salama Beach and ruled that the case should go back to the Mombasa High court to determine the issue of jurisdiction.
Last year Langer who is a shareholder in Temple Point obtained an injunction in the Mombasa High court to stop any hostile takeover of the hotel until the suit he has filed against the original Italian owners of the hotel-I Viaggi del Ventaglio Limite is heard and determined.
The matter is still pending in Mombasa with Rodrot and Uccelli as co-defendants to the suit alongside Ventaglio.

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Milan court ruling
Langer and Ventalio tussle originates from an 800,000 Euros debt the latter owed Langer and offered to offset it with the transfer of Salama Beach Hotel to him. Until 2009 Salama Beach was owned by Ventalio with Uccelli and Rodrot as employees without shares in it.
The agreement to transfer the hotel to Langer was sealed by a decree issued by a court in Milan.
Langer is reported to have hired Uccelli and Rodrot as his employees after takeover but the duo would later lay claim to it alleging that Ventalio had also sold it to them.
Uccelli and Rodrot sued at the Malindi High Court to enforce their claim and Justice Said Chitembwe ruled that the hotel should revert to its 2009 status.
In 2013 Rodrot tried to take over the hotel unsuccessfully despite his interpretation of Chitembwe’s order that he and Uccelli were now the legal owners of the hotel. Their claim to the hotel is still pending at the Malindi High Court.
Last year, Langer obtained a court order barring any takeover or interference in the hotel until the suit he has filed against Ventalio is heard and determined. The matter resumes on tomorrow.
On August 24 the Court of Appeal ruled that the Malindi case could not proceed before past orders by Justice Said Chitembwe had been obeyed.
“The issue is still in court. The Court of appeal did not hand over the hotel to the other parties,” said Mr Langer who added that reports that the ownership of the hotel had created panic among the tourists who had booked for their December holidays.
Temple Point Resort, formerly Salama Beach Hotel in Watamu sits on 11.10 acres in Watamu with isolated expansive access to the Indian Ocean.
Early this month, Uccelli and Rodrot claimed the Court of Appeal had bestowed them the ownership of the hotel but Langer termed it as “blatant lies” aimed to scare away guests.
Justices Alnashir Visram, W. Karanja and M.K Koome upheld a decision by the High Court in Malindi and ordered that the hotel be reverted to its first owners before 2009.
In 2009, Langer told Justice Mohamed Ibrahim in Mombasa that he acquired the ownership and shares of the hotel through a High Court Decree in Milan Italy on December 14, 2001.
He told Justice Ibrahim that the dispute finds its roots in Italy where a company named Adinos AG gave him the authority to recover Sh827,420 from I- Viaggi Del Ventagglio following a Milan High Court decree on December 14, 2000.
A judgment by Justice Ibrahim dated January 21, 2010, allowed Langer to enforce the Milan decree that awarded his company Accredo AG 827 470 Euros thereby making Langer and Zahra the directors and owners of Salama Beach Hotel including the shares.

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Hans Juergen LangerMombasa High CourtTemple Point Resort

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