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class action

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    Centro suit judge stands down
    AdvertisementEmail Print Normal font Large font AdvertisementEli Greenblat
    November 15, 2008

    FEDERAL Court judge Ray Finkelstein has recused himself from hearing three shareholder class actions against the embattled Centro group of properties, after he disclosed a self-managed superannuation fund he is linked to lost more than $19,000 in Centro stock.

    His resolution to stand down from judging the potentially billion-dollar lawsuit against Centro, which is still in its early stages, could delay the complex trial even further and push its conclusion well into next year and possibly 2010.

    Justice Finkelstein said in the Federal Court yesterday that motions for his recusal were brought on the basis of the ownership by Motown Investments, the trustee of a self-managed superannuation fund of which he is a member, of shares in Centro Properties.

    Also, the trustee was a member of the group on whose behalf one class-action is brought. Justice Finkelstein said on August 8, 2007, Motown bought 2400 shares in Centro at a cost of $19,608. As at June 30, the value of those shares fell to about $600. That value has since fallen to $200.

    He said Motown's stake in Centro was a very small percentage of the overall portfolio.

    Justice Finkelstein said due to an administrative oversight it did not immediately come to his attention that Motown held Centro shares.
 
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