Raja (Widow and Administratrix of the Estate of Mohammed Sabir Raja, Deceased) v Hoogstraten
On 4 November 2016 Norris J made final charging orders in favour of the estate of the late Mohammed Raja on 2 properties registered in the name of Nicholas Hamilton (an admitted alias for Nicholas Van Hoogstraten).
In 2007 Mr Hoogstraten had been found by the Chancery Division to have arranged the murder of Mr Raja by two hitmen in order to prevent him pursuing proceedings in respect of fraud relating to various properties. His defence to the fraud action had as a consequence been struck out on the grounds of abuse of process. Orders for substantial costs, now totalling over £1.5 million with interest, were made against Mr Hoogstraten, but he refused to recognise or pay them.
Mr Hoogstraten sought permission to appeal against the final charging orders, principally upon the ground that the properties were in fact held by him on trust for his children.
In the Court of Appeal Gross LJ, upholding the judgment of Norris J, refused permission on various specific grounds including non-payment of costs, delay, and failure by the beneficiaries to attempt to intervene until after the hearing.
Orders for sale have been applied for by the estate, and are now being opposed on the grounds that the properties are in trust.