A CENTURY from Azhar Ali and staunch support by Asad Shafiq frustrated Australia bowlers but rain was a sickener for both sides on day two of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.Showers truncated the morning session and then re-emerged shortly after 17:00hrs to prevent any further play, meaning at least 78 scheduled overs were lost over the first two days. The inclement weather cut into the time available to Pakistan to force the result they need to stand a chance of winning the series.In-between the rain breaks, Azhar and Shafiq showed good composure to work through the early spells of the Australian pacemen then rotating the strike when Nathan Lyon’s spin was introduced. After Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed perished to the second new ball, Mohammad Amir played some handsome strokes while Azhar forged on with impressive determination to push the score to 6 for 310 at stumps.Azhar’s hundred was his 12th in Tests, a brilliant exercise in restraint and patience to keep Australia in the field. The hosts looked a little less than their best in what was their fourth consecutive day in the field, when also including Pakistan’s narrowly failed chase of 490 to win the first Test of the series in Brisbane.In their search for a wicket, the Australians wasted a referral when Jackson Bird appealed for caught-behind against Shafiq, before replays showed that ball was nowhere near bat.Later in the same over, Shafiq drove Bird down the ground and the bowler touched the ball before it hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Azhar quickly turned to regain his ground in time, before there was brief pandemonium at the ground when the third umpire flashed an OUT decision on the MCG’s big screen.This mistaken verdict was quickly rescinded, and following some light rain the batsmen resumed their occupation in the final few overs before lunch. Steven Smith tried himself and also Nic Maddinson in this brief period, and with a deft leg-side deflection off the latter, Azhar made it to three figures before the rain returned.There was no further play before 15:30hrs local time, and with Smith immediately taking the second new ball, conditions became more challenging for the visiting batsmen. Shafiq was undone for 50 by an excellent away swinger from Bird, and Sarfraz also edged the moving ball, inching Josh Hazlewood further towards his 100th Test wicket in the process.However, Amir ended Australian hopes of rolling up the tail, playing his shots with aplomb and adding 42 in quick time with the enduring Azhar.Pakistan have manoeuvred themselves into a strong position in this match, but the return of the rain will lessen the meaning of that advantage.
Failure of the Board of Tax Appeal (BOTA) to resolve a US$19.2 million “tax fraud” complaint brought against the Ministry of Finance (MOF) by Lonestar Communication Corporation, (LCC) prompted a Tax Court Judge to caution the Board’s existence, after reviewing the ruling.BOTA was established in 2009 by the government to hear complains growing out of Ministry of Finance (MOF) audits of business and other tax payers.In reviewing BOTA’s ruling in March 2014, Judge Mozart A. Chesson said, “the court must caution BOTA to remember that it is not a mediator, but an adjudicator, as complained by LCC.”He went on to say that “BOTA directed the parties to “walk together” to resolve their differences. The parties came to BOTA, because they had been unable to resolve the differences,” adding, “They should not have dodged a responsibility that is the primary reason for Bota’s very existence: an obligation to reach a final decision.”Judge Chesson concluded, “The appeal is hereby dismissed because of a lack of jurisdiction of this court to entertain a matter in which a final decision had not yet been rendered. The matter is remanded to BOTA for a resumption of its hearing.”In January 2013, MOF informed LCC that its forensic investigation discovered that LCC during the period of 2007 to 2011, that LCC had engaged in a series of tax fraud, to the tune of US$19.2 million. The MOF had demanded that LCC made available its business records, in connection with 11 business transactions.But, LCC objected, claiming that MOF already had given them a tax clearance for those years in question.Lonestar filed an appeal to BOTA, requesting an emergency hearing.But at the hearing, MOF did not produce the forensic evidence it relied on, when it accused LCC of tax fraud; nor did it submit or explain its calculation of the US$19.2 million re-assessed tax bill. BOTA ordered the ministry to submit said evidence within 72 hours, so that LCC could access that information; Bota also ordered the two parties to work together over the next 30 days to resolve and dispute.In that ruling, BOTA did not specify whether the parties were to return to them, after the 30 days with the result of their discussion.It was based on that ruling that LCC prayed the Court for review.In their complained, LCC argued that BOTA’s ruling was not in fact final, because it dispose of nothing, thereby leaving all issues unresolved, and no option than to appeal to the Court.LCC further argued that charged with fraud as it was, the burden of proof rested on the ministry. The ministry, LCC pointed out, had failed to present and prove any of their allegations, when the case was brought before BOTA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Lonestar Cell MTN has taken an appeal to the Supreme Court against the ruling by Tax Court Judge Mozart Chesson on Wednesday, September 16, in which the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) was awarded US$19.2 million against the telecommunications giant.The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) in a release last week cried victory in a US$19.2 million tax case against the operator following more than two years of legal battle.Tax Court Judge Mozart Chesson ruled in the case on Wednesday, September 16, at the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill following final arguments in the case three weeks ago, a release from the LRA has said.A leader in Liberia’s telecommunications sector, Lonestar Cell MTN prides itself in being one of the highest tax payers in the country. Now the court’s ruling compels the company to pay US$19 million more into government’s coffers.The case, the release said, was taken to the tax court after both the LRA and Lonestar rejected the decision of the Board of Tax Appeal (BOTA) which ruled that the company pays US$1.9 million. The LRA insisted that US$19.2 million was due from the company, while Lonestar Cell/MTN further rejected the BOTA’s ruling claiming it owed no taxes. BOTA had no authority to adjust the statutory addition (penalties and interest) to a tax bill.In its ruling Wednesday, the Tax Court declared that Lonestar was held to pay the amount, “because it failed to follow, and exhaust the appeal process, and did not take appeal when it was served the notice for payment at the then Ministry of Finance.”“We are happy for this ruling; especially to reach this far in two-and-a-half years,” stated Cllr. Eric B. Morlu, Legal Counselor at the LRA. Meanwhile, Lonestar declined to comment further, except to anticipate its appeal to be heard at the Supreme Court. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement has announced he is leaving his post following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti this week.It was widely expected that Clement, brother of former West Brom defender Neil, would follow the Italian out of the Bernabeu after his sacking on Monday and the Englishman took to Twitter on Friday to confirm his departure.“It has been an honour to have worked with Carlo at the Number 1 Club in the World,” he wrote. “Thank you to all the Players, Staff and Fans. Hala Madrid.”Clement worked with Ancelotti at Chelsea and Paris St Germain before the duo moved to the Spanish capital in 2013 and has recently been linked with the vacant manager’s positions at Derby and Sunderland.The Rams are looking for a new manager following the sacking of Steve McClaren on Monday, while the Black Cats are also in the market after Dick Advocaat retired from club management. 1 Paul Clement