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Fight for justice nearing end..?

A RETIRED educator, who has been waiting to receive BD17,500 in outstanding wages from his former employer, hopes an upcoming court hearing will end his 12-year fight for justice.

Bahrain-resident Dr Joseph Dunn has been away from his family in Ireland for decades, while he fights a legal battle against a regional training institute.

He lodged a complaint at the civil court, which issued a verdict in his favour in March 2002.

The organisation appealed, but the court again ruled in Dr Dunn's favour and increased the overdue salaries and other owed amounts to BD17,500 in 2003.

However, the case has been stuck in limbo ever since as the Execution Court awaits payment from the institute.

Dr Dunn hopes authorities will fast-track his case as he is expected to appear in court on Monday.

"In September 2010, in frustration I appealed to the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister (Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa) for assistance and I met the legal adviser," he told the GDN.

"I understand that he came to the conclusion that the judgement was watertight and the defendants should settle in full plus interest and costs.

"Since then I have submitted letters to His Royal Highness (Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa) the Crown Prince and again to Shaikh Khalid.

"As a result of these and of meetings with the Crown Prince's Office director Shaikh Khalifa bin Daij Al Khalifa, I was told that Judge Abdulla Al Ashrf was requested to follow up the case."

However, despite his efforts the case file remains open and nothing has been done to force the institute, which cannot be named for legal reasons, to pay the outstanding amount.

Dr Dunn arrived in Bahrain in 1983 when he was headhunted by one of Bahrain's biggest companies to spearhead a cultural exchange programme and a computer awareness programme. He then joined the institute as the project and general manager in 1996.

However, when the organisation faced financial difficulties it failed to pay Dr Dunn his salary for several months.

He finally handed in his resignation in 2001, which was accepted by the management. He also received a letter promising all outstanding payments to be given within four weeks, which was signed by three board members of the institute.

Dr Dunn, who is a former Catholic missionary, was one of the original members of the Bahrain British Business Forum and a former deputy chairman.

However, he was forced to stop his membership last year because he has run out of money to support himself in Bahrain.

He has spent most of his savings to try and stay afloat since 2003 in hopes of someday getting back the money owed to him.

"I have eaten through all my money trying to get paid and have ended up staying a lot longer than I expected and even when the legal adviser examined my case he said that they should have settled a long time ago and now there should be even more interest," he explained.

"I am just trying to get what is owed to me."

Dr Dunn, who is nearing 70, wants to return home to be with his family, but cannot make a move without the financial security he needs from the court settlement.

He said that despite the suffering of the last 12 years, he would not change anything in his life in Bahrain, but hopes his plight would end soon.

He arrived in the Arabian Peninsula 30 years ago, during which he had advised on company development throughout the region including Yemen and as far as Tanzania and Malaysia.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Jan 11, 2013
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