Judge Rivlin adjourns further hearing on the case until July 22, 2011. 60 Ibori Supporters turn up at court early Prosecution seek joint trial with associate Nemo Preko

 

 
 
Former Delta State Governor, James Ibori appeared today at the Southwark Crown court in
London where he is charged with offences related to money laundering and fraud in two cases.
 
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), sought an order for Mr. Ibori and Ellias Nemo Preko, an
alleged associate of Mr Ibori, to be jointly tried in November 2011.
 
Prosecutors argued that the 25-count charges brought against Mr. Ibori were in two parts; some
in which Mr. Ibori is indicted and others in which both men are implicated.
 
"Mr. Ibori should be tried with Mr. Preko. Mr. Preko faces a trial fixed for November where only
he is charged with money laundering of Mr. Ibori's proceeds of crime," said prosecutor, Sasha
Wass. "Part two of Ibori's case arises out of the sale of shares in Nigeria."
 
Ibori's lawyer, Nick Purneel said his client had only received papers from the prosecution on the
matter two days ago.
 
Presiding judge, Rivlin, who agreed with Mr. Ibori's lawyer's submission that he had been only
recently served papers from the prosecution, pointed out that "a decision should not be taken
today".
 
Mr Rivlin also told the prosecution he did not expect the case to be wrapped up in eight
weeks. "If this is going to be a joint trial, it may be up to ten weeks, that is what I am going to
assume," he said.
 
About two hours before proceedings, about 60 supporters of the former governor were already
at the Southwark court wearing t-shirts branded with a photograph of his face and slogans that
read: ‘Free Ibori' and ‘Deltans want Ibori back home.'.
 
The London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes
Unit opened investigations with a view to prosecuting Mr. Ibori in 2007, shortly after he left
office.
 
In October 2007 a UK court froze assets allegedly belonging to him worth $35million.
 
Two years later, a court in Asaba cleared Mr. Ibori of 170 charges of corruption, saying there was
no clear evidence to convict.
 
On May 13, 2010, the former governor was detained in Dubai, at the request of the Metropolitan
Police Service on suspicion of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.
 
On April 15, 2010, Mr. Ibori was extradited to the UK and arrived at London's Heathrow airport
accompanied by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's Extradition Unit.
 
Mr Rivlin has adjourned further hearing on the case until July 22, 2011. It is not compulsory that
 
Mr. Ibori attends the proceedings.
 
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Author: nmmin

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