A New York judge has issued a temporary order restricting California stockbroker Rafi Khan, who is trying to unseat the board of directors of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., from taking further action related to the company, ICN said.
Mr. Khan had filed a consent statement with the Securities and Exchange
Commission seeking to replace the company's management and board - including its founder, former Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Panic.ICN filed a lawsuit against Mr. Khan last week, alleging that he violated securities laws, breached his fiduciary responsibilities and illegally used inside information in a conspiracy to seize control of the company.
On Monday, Mr. Khan filed a counterclaim against the company's directors for breach of fiduciary duties, slander and interference with economic relations.
The counterclaim, filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, seeks exemplary damages of $29 million, unspecified compensation, costs and other amounts.
Among other items, Mr. Khan's counterclaim alleges Mr. Panic, ICN's president, chairman and chief executive, violated U.S. law by abusing a U.S. license that permitted him - as a U.S. citizen - to become prime minister of Yugoslavia.
The license said Mr. Panic could not engage in ICN business, while pursuing a political career, but Mr. Khan alleged that Mr. Panic regularly engaged in ICN business and was paid by ICN.
Last month, Mr. Panic resumed all his corporate posts at ICN after an eight-month leave of absence to serve as Yugoslavia's prime minister. His political career was cut short after he failed to defeat Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in a December election.