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Abdourahiman Boreh Prevails over Djibouti’s Claim of Fraud

The Djibouti government seems to have lost money and integrity in the London courts, but pursuing possibility of appeal

(Addis Fortune) Djibouti’s wealthy businessman, Abdourahiman Boreh, has been cleared off of all fraud charges brought against him while in exile, after a commercial court in London dismissed the allegations made by Djibouti’s government. The former chairman of Djibouti Free Zones & Ports Administration was accused of receiving bribes from DP World, a Dubai based global company, while negotiating terms on Djibouti’s behalf for the construction of Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT).
The second and modern port for Djibouti, Doraleh was built with a 400 million dollar soft loan Djibouti received from Dubai under a joint venture arrangement with DP World, in 2006. Two years later, the terminal was open for business after Djibouti gave a 30-year concession to DP World.
Following the political fallout between the country’s long-serving president, Ismael O. Ghelleh, and Boreh, which led to the latter’s self-exile, Djibouti’s government filed a series of charges against him, claiming that he “disadvantaged” his country in exchange for bribes in form of consultancy fees and secret shareholding deals with the terminal and free zones. Boreh testified before the court in London that the consultancy fees were indeed paid to his offshore company, S Flame, and he does not consider them to be “bribes”.
Djibouti officials later on recovered documents of wire transfers made to an account in Switzerland.
“Mr Boreh was ‘justly proud’ of what he had achieved for his country, and was not a man who would take bribes to sell his country short,” his lawyers said in a press statement after his testimony.
That was but a part of a series of legal battles Djibouti’s government has opened against Boreh, including criminal charges of having hands in a grenade attack inside a supermarket in the city of Djibouti, back in 2009. A year before, Boreh had to run away from Djibouti where he was charged with tax fraud. He was also convicted of involvement in the grenade attack and sentenced to a 15-year prison term – all charges Boreh denies in absentia. However, the Djibouti government’s ill-fated attempt to secure the freezing of Boreh’s assets overseas, estimated at 100 million dollars, was dropped by the same court which ruled in his favour last week. The judge reviewed a transcript of intercepted conversations between two suspects in Djibouti and Boreh, but found that the conversation was recorded a day before the attack in Djibouti.
Djibouti’s government suffered another blow on Wednesday, March 3, 2016, after the London court dismissed testimonies from the plaintiff’s witnesses as “unreliable” and “untruthful”.
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“The court regarded the Republic as having pursued a scattergun approach against Mr Boreh, of throwing as much mud as it could in the hope that something would stick,” Boreh’s legal representatives said in a formal statement. “Even though many of the matters were not ones in respect of which the Republic could have had a legitimate or sustainable claim.”
The judge has ordered the government to pay 13 million dollars to meet legal costs Boreh incurred during the litigation.
Djibouti’s government is not “pleased” with the ruling. In a written statement sent to Fortune, it was said to disagree with the courts findings.
“The Republic of Djibouti is extremely disappointed with the results of the trial,” said the statement issued by Dina Shoukry, associate director of the government’s communication consultant in London. “It is exploring urgently with its lawyers the best course of action to take, including the possibility of an appeal.”
Whether the government appeals or not, its business associate in DCT, DP World, said it is “pleased with the court’s rejection of allegations made against Boreh, and indirectly DP World.”
Nonetheless, the court battle between the Government of Djibouti and DP World continues with an arbitration court in London, after Djibouti claimed it is in for the deal it considers “unfair”.
Source: Addis Fortune Newspaper

2 Comments

  1. The plaintiff is the Government of Djibouti led by Ismail Hassan Gullah as President and he was a witness and the ruling is
    “””” plaintiff’s witnesses as “unreliable” and “untruthful”.
    What a befitting statement.
    alas Djibouti’s President is called liar and squandering his country money for ill political gains, pity you MR Hassan.

  2. The plaintiff is the Government of Djibouti led by Ismail Hassan Gullah as President and he was a witness and the ruling is
    “””” plaintiff’s witnesses as “unreliable” and “untruthful”.
    What a befitting statement.
    alas Djibouti’s President is called liar and squandering his country money for ill political gains, pity you MR Hassan.

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