Princess fails in latest bid to stall payment of £2m fine

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A PRINCESS has failed in her latest bid to stall payment of a £2 million fine for contempt of court.

Monaco-based aristocrat Camilla de Bourbon des Deux Siciles has been involved in a long-running legal dispute with BNP Paribas Jersey Trust Corporation, which is now owned by Zedra Jersey Trust Corporation, over the set-up of a family trust.

In December 2020, the Royal Court fined the socialite £2m after it found that the princess had refused to inform lawyers acting for BNP of the whereabouts of assets held by, or on behalf of, her mother, Edoarda Crociani.

The bank is said to have paid out $115 million in reconstituting the trust fund which lies at the heart of the dispute.

The princess remains in contempt of court for failing to pay the fine.

She has sought a stay on the enforcement order which has imposed the fine ‘and/or default 12-month prison sentence until the determination of a Privy Council appeal and/or a determination of the Order of Justice suing Zedra for damages and/or a determination of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights’.

Last month, the Royal Court dismissed Princess Camilla’s application seeking a stay of the December 2020 orders, and ordered that she be debarred from prosecuting the claims set out in her Order of Justice against Zedra until she has paid the £2m fine imposed on her for contempt of court.

So far, she has paid £133,333. Her attempts to require the Royal Court to provide a bank guarantee before paying the balance to the Viscount – meaning that she would get the money back should her appeals succeed – have been rejected.

An application to the Privy Council seeking permission to appeal against the sanction judgment and a stay of execution on the fine was refused in July.

In the October judgment, the Bailiff, Sir Timothy Le Cocq, wrote: ‘It appears to me that Camilla has exhausted her avenues of appeal up to and including the [Privy Council].

‘She raises the prospect of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, the bringing of which appeal is, on the submissions of her counsel, “under consideration”. No appeal appears to have been launched nor indeed accepted.

‘Furthermore, the European Court of Human Rights is not an appeal court in the sense that it can review the decision of the courts of the jurisdiction in which determinations have been made and simply overturn them.

‘It is concerned with the observance by contracting states of the engagement to act in accordance with the convention and the protocols.’

Princess Camilla has subsequently sought leave to appeal the Royal Court’s October decision. This month, the court granted leave on one point of law that tests the scope of case law from 1952, which was used as part of the October judgment.

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