President Donald Trump is facing, and losing, another legal battle, this time with officials in Panama. The Trump International Resort in Panama has been at the center of a lengthy dispute between the Trump Organization and the man who claims to be the owner of the building. Orestes Fintiklis is the majority owner of the Trump Tower hotel which overlooks the Punta Pacifica Peninsula in Panama. As reported by Slate, Fintiklis has accused the Trump Organization of mismanagement of the resort hotel and has been trying to take possession of the property.
Fintiklis filed papers with a Panamanian court accusing the Trump Organization of “gross incompetence,” blaming them for spiraling costs and “tanking” revenues. Fintiklis argues that he is losing his investment, while “lining the Trump Organization’s pockets.” As reported by The Guardian, Fintiklis claims that he witnessed Trump Organization staff destroying documents relating to the running of the hotel when he went to the property last month with termination notices for Trump’s management team. Fintiklis also claims that he was turned away by Trump’s security team.
As reported by ABC News, the Trump Organization refutes the allegations made by Fintiklis, accusing him of underhand tactics designed to “wrongfully seize control over the hotel property.”
“Rather than abide by the clear terms of the agreement he had signed, Mr. Fintiklis had been conspiring with others to remove Trump Hotels as manager and fire most, if not all, of its loyal and dedicated employees.
“Looking back, it is now apparent that Mr. Fintiklis, in flagrant violation of the commitments he had made, never had any intention of keeping his word and had been plotting a takeover and termination of Trump Hotels all along.”
Whilst the legal battle for control of the Trump resort continues, matters took a dramatic turn yesterday when Trump Organization officials were evicted from the premises.
Armed Police Evict Trump Organization Staff From Panama Hotel
As reported by the Washington Post, matters in Panama took a dramatic turn when a Panamanian court official went to the Trump resort accompanied by 15 armed police officers. After a meeting with Trump Organization staff, the court official left the premises and staff were escorted from the premises by armed police. Afterward, a worker with a crowbar removed the Trump name from the large sign situated at the hotel’s entrance.
Speaking in the hotel, Orestes Fintiklis informed reporters that he had fired 10 Trump Organization employees. He then proceeded to play the piano, something that has become a ritual after his court victories over the Trump Organization. Fintiklis played and sang what he called a Greek anti-fascist anthem.
Whilst the Trump Organization made clear that the legal fight will continue, they have, for the time being at least, ceded control of the Trump hotel to Fintiklis. This is the third hotel to have its Trump branding removed since Trump was inaugurated.