Thursday, March 3, 2016
Business tycoon Abdourahman Boreh
DJIBOUTI (HOL) – Djibouti’s government has protested the acquittal of a business tycoon Abdourahman Boreh of terrorism and corruption charges by a UK court on Wednesday, calling the verdict ‘disturbing’ and vowed an appeal against it.
A British court has acquitted Mr. Boreh, a former presidential candidate for Djibouti who has been battling the charges for years after he was expelled from Djibouti under the orders of President Ismail Guelleh on Wednesday and cleared him of all charges.
“The republic of Djibouti will pursue an immediate consultation with the relevant lawyers on how best we can act towards the verdict, including an appeal bid by the government.” The government said in a statement issued Thursday.
Speaking to the BBC Somali Service after the verdict, Mr. Boreh called the judge’s ruling as ‘victory’, vowing he would fight back against anyone who tries to hurt his reputation.
“Now, I can take a good break after that long battle – one week deep sleep, let me say.” He said.
The ruling is the culmination of years of legal battle between Mr. Boreh and Djiboutian government which leveled terrorism and corruption charges against him, prompting international banks to freeze his assets. The Djiboutian tycoon had denied the charges.
However, a UK court had later repealed the decision and ordered international banks to unfreeze millions of dollars of assets of him frozen by them 2013.
Djibouti’s government earlier raised question about Mr. Boreh’s proprietorship share in Horizon Terminal, an oil terminal with a 300,000 cubic meters capacity and contracts he allegedly signed with Dubai’s DP World.
The company manages Djibouti port, Africa's largest container terminal and Djibouti's biggest employer.
The business tycoon has fled his country to Dubai and a Djiboutian court has later convicted him in absentia and sentenced to 15 years in prison. During the hearing, the court’s judge has accused him of being behind a number of hand grenades that were detonated in the capital, Djibouti city, including one thrown into a police station.
He denied all charges, and accused the government of making up the charges.