- Djibouti’s US law firm accused of concocting evidence and apologises also
In the long running case of the Republic of Djibouti and Mr Abdourahman Boreh , the Djibouti government, in the form of Lord Falconer, has apologised to Mr Boreh and the High Court in London. Lord Falconer said:
“The Republic of Djibouti apologises to the court and to Mr Boreh that the court was misled…secondly that the misleading was not corrected at the earliest opportunity…(and) that reliance was placed on misleading information put before the court…and on a number of occasions there was a misstating of evidence. The Republic of Djibouti understands the seriousness of what has occurred and…are determined to seek to regain the trust of this court.”
P104/105 of Court Transcript (Claim no 2012 Folio 1333) Day 4 March 5th
Mr Dutton, of the US law firm Gibson Dunn, also apologised:
“Gibson Dunn’s apology extends to the court…Mr Boreh…and indeed anybody who has been affected by conduct which fell below the standard expected of solicitors.”
P71 P104/105 of Court Transcript (Claim no 2012 Folio 1333) Day 4 March 5th
Abdourahman Boreh said:
“I have always admired the reputation of English justice and how the rule of law is upheld in this country. It is a sharp contrast to what I have seen and experienced in Djibouti.
“I am grateful to the English Court for recognizing that my conviction for terrorism by the Djibouti courts was unsafe and should be set aside.
“But I am frankly shocked that Gibson Dunn, a respectable law firm, has leant its support to this campaign against me seemingly without regard for the truth, which lawyers are meant to uphold. Peter Gray, the lead partner, has admitted he knew the terrorism conviction was unsafe. However, he chose not to bring it to the Court’s attention and the false conviction has been used to further the Djibouti government’s aim to destroy me internationally. He claims that he did not mean to be dishonest. I am happy to leave it to the Court to decide whether this is true.”
- Mr Abdourahman Boreh and the President of Djibouti, Ismael Omar Guelleh, were close allies and worked together to build the modern Djiboutian economy. Mr Boreh, a renowned businessman, was a trusted advisor to Guelleh and is most celebrated for having successfully secured support and funding from DP World to develop the Port of Djibouti, which is a major source of income to the country.
- In 2008, Guelleh sought to reform the Djiboutian constitution to allow unlimited Presidential terms, thus enabling him to become President for life. This drew a critical response from Mr Boreh, which was met with a hardline reaction from the Djiboutian state and a campaign to malign his reputation publicly. Following allegations ranging from corruption to terrorism, and threats to his family and assets, Mr Boreh fled Djibouti and has since been based in London and Dubai, where he has business interests.
- The Government of Djibouti has since undertaken a systematic campaign to destroy Mr Boreh’s reputation and business interests. The latest attempt to undermine him publicly are accusations of terrorism and corruption brought to the London High Court, which has resulted in the freezing of his assets globally. The case is now reaching its conclusion.
- It was revealed before Christmas that evidence submitted by the Government of Djibouti’s lawyers, Gibson Dunn, was proved to be materially flawed and unsubstantiated, thereby undermining the central pillar of their case - the allegation that Mr Boreh had been engaged in terrorist activity, which formed the basis of the freezing order against his assets in 2012. It subsequently became clear that Mr Peter Gray, the lead Gibson Dunn solicitor representing the Government of Djibouti, was well aware that there was no evidence to substantiate the Government’s case, but continued to seek prosecution against Mr Boreh.
- Now brought to light, the extent of Gibson Dunn’s alleged misconduct is now being set before the Commercial Court.
- Mr Boreh has long held his innocence of all charges and has consistently described the case as politically motivated.
The hearing is expected to conclude on Monday 9th March.
Report submitted by Justice for Djibouti