Zeitgeist Magazine, for the story behind the news
Issue 30,
Volume 8,
17 December 301 AP

The Story behind the news.
Edition
Business
The trouble with 20% inflation
Growth expectations
Housing's exposion fuels growth.
Starlight's success
Savant case ends, the shadow is gone


Politics
Hope and the Unions: it's war again!
Language: Should Utani be taught in Utani?
President's food guarantee problem


Law
Saltury versus Savante: the battle is not over.


International Rovens: Countdown to election
Rovens: Keralski's arrest sparks jubilation


Sport
Vexcup: Utania's shame claims Newton's scalp


Subscribe to Zeitgeist
Subscriber queries

What IS a Zeitgeist?

Jerman for "Spirit of the Age". In this case it is to mean the "spirit" of the Utanian people, the magazine reporting the people's thoughts behind the press-releases and reported news.

Want an article published?

Would you like an article published by Zeitgeist Magazine? Please send the text of the article for evaluation, OR send us an email describing the issue/story you would like published to the email Editor@jaggedblue.com.


©Zeitgeist Magazine, 301 AP.
Email:
Editor@jaggedblue.com


<TECH>
©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)
Saltury versus Savante: The battle is not over!

Gordon Saltury says he will not rest until his name is cleared of the "atrocious" claim that he and his partners in Savant Motors "cheated" Mr Savante of his family's 25% stake in then-Savant Engineering.

Gordon Saltury, owner of 150 million shares in Savant Motors, a 9% minority stakeholder, is the largest single shareholder after the government and Mr Atosu Savante, and he is not happy. He says he was "wrongly defamed" by the government and Savante when they conspired to have the Court rule that Mr Saltury and his partners "cheated" the Savante family of their shares. And he intends to go on fighting to clear his name.

Gordon Saltury was one of four men who owned Savante Engineering in 264ap when the company was manufacturing 10,000 flatbed trucks a year for the Guwimithian Dependencies market out of their two factories in Shecker. 200 trucks a week rolling off the assembly line, and employing some 4,000 mostly Utani men.

Guwimithian rule of the Dependencies

These were the days before any form of self-rule for the Dependencies, when the Guwimith-appointed Governors ruled the provinces that now make up Utania, South Bay, Begral and Rovens. Economically, the provinces were ruled by a mix of Ingallish and other immigrants who arrived over the past hundred years to open up the lands to commercial farming, to mining, to manufacturing, the Governor's and their cronies, and the Guwimithian nobility.

Many nobles had substantial farming properties in the Dependencies, lush, sprawling green lands that they visited but once a year and had a Lendian or Ingallish master manage in their absence. They also owned stakes in vast numbers of companies that were trying to do business with the island. The only way to be successful in such ventures was to have a Guwimithian Noble as your backer. They invariably would take a substantial stake in the company for free or a nominal investment, then use their infuence in the Tsarist Court to push the company's fortunes in the island.

The Belson Corporation, Utania's largest company which represents a massive 10% of the stock exchange, achieved its wealth by having the Tsar himself a major shareholder in the company. The doors simply opened, because no one was going to stand in the way of a company that the Tsar, the Sun-King, the self-proclaimed "god" of the island, owned. Trade was easy, and the company prospered enormously.

Now, the Tsar's stake is owned by the government after the UNVCOCN administration of the Guwimithian Empire divested all Guwimithian holdings in the Dependencies.

The same happened to Savant Motors. In 264ap, in such a climate, the three non-Utani partners in the company, knew that the only way they could crack the much more lucrative Guwimith Island market was to have a noble from the Tsarist Court own part of the company. Unfortunately, the racist nobility would never own a share of a company also owned by one of the Dependency peoples, such as an Utani. The Savante family would have to be bought out, but son-of-the-founder, Lahsa Savante, wouldn't hear of it.

When Lahsa died, the endest son, Atosu, only 22 at the time, was intimidated and pressured into selling for the princely sum of R30 million (Rubles, the Guwimithian currency of the time), which would be about Û110 million in today's money in a company that is worth Û18 billion today. Mr Savante disputed that his family was compensated fairly for their 25% stake in the R200 million company, and that being pressured into selling meant that he was deprived of their "rightful inheritance" in the fruits of the founder's labouring.

The Saltury family's protest

And this is where Mr Saltury, of one of the country's most influential families, strongly protests the court's ruling. He disputes that he or his partners ever coerced, cajoled, pressured or intimidated Mr Savante into selling. Though the Court disagreed, 77-year old Gordon Saltury says it was a simple business transaction. "He sold his shares in the company to us for equitable payment."

"End of debate."

The Government, he says, had a point to prove, "that this sort of thing happened", and to do so with the country's second-most prominent company would be a good achievement. He doesn't find fault with this, agreeing that "it probably happened". He knows of Utani who were stripped of their businesses by the autocratic Governors, and commends the government for trying to right these wrongs.

But not with Savant Motors. Not with HIS reputation. Not when, he says, he did everything fairly and appropriately.

Saltury accuses the government of putting Atosu Savante "up to it", and then conspiring with the Judge to see the case go Mr Savante's way.

To achieve what?

He says the government has the agenda of passing all its shares in the companies it owns, that were owned by Guwimithian nobles, to the Utani, with the "socialist" agenda of "redistribution of wealth". That is probably a truth depiction of government policy, and something the government would not dispute. The way it sees it, the Utani people have been the slaves doing all the work for the foreigners, while the foreigners profited.

"And to prove their point that we Uta-Decashi are an evil people. Mark my words", Mr Saltury emphasises, "the government is full of these Utani nationalists who would like nothing more than to evict us 'whities' from the country."

"What they forget all-too-quickly", Mr Saltury says, leaning forward in his chair to whisper as though passing on secret knowledge, "is that we 'whities' BUILT this country. They should be damn grateful to us."

This view is not entirely shared by all Saltury family members or by descendants of the other Savant Engineering owners. But all are united in their condemnation of the Court's ruling that they or their fathers or grandfathers "stole" the shares from Mr Savante's family. And they intend to fight it.

The ruling was made in the state court, and a Federal Court challenge failed, the judge ruling that they "had indeed" cheated Mr Savante.

"This is a set back", claims George Saltury, the families' lawyer and legal coodinator, "but we intend to leave no stone unturned to reverse this ruling, to find the proof that the government tricked the courts into allowing them to give away their shares."

Conspiricy?

"If there was one, and we have not discounted the possibility, we will uncover the truth and expose the government for the hypocrisy it has committed." The family already has a team of more than a dozen lawyers employed and more than two dozen private investigators looking into the case, at a cost of more than Û150,000 a month.

"Considering what was lost", George Saltury adds, "such costs are insignificant."

The Saltury family -- multi-billionaires

Certainly to a family holding Û1.6 billion in shares in Savant Motors, and having a total estimated wealth of over Û3.5 billion, Û2 million a year to expose the "liars" who defamed you is nothing. The Saltury family has two federal MPs, one a former Director of Health, Social Services and Education under President Hope, both former Ministers in the Hope Governorship of Lasanne, and the family practically ruled the Democratic Party in Lasanne in the seventies.

For the 300ap election, the family recorded donations to the Conservative and Democratic Parties of Û50 million and Û30 million respectively.

Should Governor Hope or Opposition Leader Thomas Kemp become President in a year's time, there is little doubt that the debt these men owe to the Saltury family's input to their campaigns, and will repay it by reopening the Savant case.

Reopening the past...

And this is the biggest threat to democracy, says Attorney General Jurgen Hoff, that one family can have so much influence in the country. He says he is unafraid of any detailed investigation of the case, but fears that any subsequent government might feel "compelled" to find something, anything, "because the Saltury family is utterly convinced that they were cheated."

"Unkind as this might sound", Mr Hoff says, "I hope a Conservative government or President does not get elected until after Gordon Saltury has passed on.

"His passion is all consuming as though he was personally defrauded of the 200 million shares. I cannot help but fear what he will do to achieve his recompense."

Still, holding a Judicial investigation is one thing, proving that the government and Mr Savante conspired is quite another. Turning back the clock and forcing Mr Savante to hand back his shares, after he has himself given them away will be impossible, and achieve nothing.

Perhaps Gordon Saltury doesn't care. He says he just wants his name cleared, and if that means bankrupting a 67-year old Utani man, so be it.
Related stories:

The Most cheated man in Utania.

Previous Editions:

Lasanne state election 301ap

Angorit wooed for his influence

It's Cryer's town, Pardner.

Rovens: an analysis of the chances for peace

Stock Exchange:
Luka Stock Exchange, March 23rd

Stocks continue to stagnate - when will the Govt. release cash controls?

Belson, Utania's largest food processing company. Link to homepage.