Court denies extension of appeal period to AAEC legal team

The Court of First Instance (TJB) has denied a request by Asian American Entertainment Corp Ltd (AAEC) for a 30-day extension to the period granted to file an appeal concerning its compensation legal action against Las Vegas Sands.

The lengthy trial between AAEC and LVA reached a partial conclusion after the TJB issued a judgement to unilaterally dismiss AAEC’s claims on April 28.

AAEC was seeking compensation of at least MOP60 billion (US$7.5 billion) plus extra from the three affiliates of the U.S. gaming company for “maliciously” breaching their partnership in a bid for a Macau gaming licence two decades ago.

The three entities were LVS (Nevada) International Holding Inc; Las Vegas Sands LLC; and Venetian Casino Resort, LLC, with AAEC initially seeking around MOP96.5 billion as compensation for an alleged breach of contract after LVS exited their joint bid for a Macau casino license in 2002 and linked with Galaxy Entertainment Group instead later reducing that claim to MOP60 billion.

The company headed by Taiwanese businessman Marshal Hao was represented by lawyer Jorge Menezes in the Macau case, while LVS and its three affiliates were represented by Luís Cavaleiro de Ferreira.

According to a document accessed by Macau News Agency ad submitted to the court on May 6, the legal team representing AAEC has requested for a 30-day extension to be provided to the regular 10 days awarded for an appeal since the 99-page sentencing documents have only been provided in Chinese, while both legal representatives are only versed in Portuguese.

In its refusal decision published on May 11, the TJB indicates that while the Chinese and Portuguese languages are official Macau SAR languages with “equal dignity and valid means of expression in judicial acts” it underscored the optional element of its use by the court.

“Although there are norms established for considering and determining the language used in processual acts this does not bind the court to select the official language of mandate dor appointed legal representatives,” the court decision reads.

The court also considered that there is no legal basis supporting that it is required to translate the decision to another official language, and rejected that this action was hampering the legal right to access the courts.

A legal connection to the plaintiff indicated the legal team was “disappointed” with the court’s decision as it consider it “impossible” for a Portuguese lawyer to review a 99-page judgment in Chinese within 10 days.

The same source indicated AAEC is preparing to still submit an appeal on May 13.