Jersey deputies bankruptcy claim rejected

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Two Jersey politicians have had their application for a form of bankruptcy refused by the Royal Court.

Deputies Trevor and Shona Pitman have been told they will not be granted a "remise de bien" which would have allowed the court to sell their house to pay off debts.

It was refused after objections from two of their major debtors, the Jersey Evening Post and Broadlands Estates.

Mr and Mrs Pitman said they did not want to give a comment to the BBC.

The court heard the couple, who represent constituencies in St Helier, are said to owe about £250,000.

In November Mr and Mrs Pitman were denied more time to appeal against a libel ruling.

They had already tried unsuccessfully to sue the Jersey Evening Post and an estate agent over a cartoon.

The St Helier politicians were ordered to pay all legal costs relating to the appeal.

'Indulgence'

They applied for a Remise de Bien on 13 December but it was adjourned because they objected to one of the jurats on the case being known to the Post's advocate.

If it had been approved Mr and Mrs Pitman would have lost their seat in the States of Jersey, triggering a by-election.

Lawyers for the Post and Broadlands said approval would "make a mockery of the legal system" and remise would "indulge them" by immediately releasing them from their debts.

Mrs Pitman has been a member of the States for St Helier number 2 since 2005 and Mr Pitman was first elected to represent St Helier 1 in 2008.

The result means the couple will keep their seats in the States pending further action over their debts.

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