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Ibori’s London case: Judge condemns unfair media coverage

As the pre-trial proceedings in the case involving associates of Chief James Ibori continued in London Tuesday, 22 September, 2009, in Southwark Crown Court 8 before His Honour Judge Hardy, the Judge said he had observed the media reports of the case overnight and again asked for proportionate and fair reporting in light of the articles appearing in certain web news portals of the Nigerian media.

Judge Hardy was also troubled by the pictures taken within the Court premises of Mrs. Christine Ibori-Ibie and Ms. Udoamaka Okoronkwo, saying it was not fair to any of the parties involved to have a trial by media.

Also, for the second day, nothing relating to V-Mobile shares sale was discussed, as the court restricted itself to the same money laundering case similar to the one  Ibori is facing in Federal High Court, Asaba.

At Tuesday’s hearing, the prosecution won a victory, but at a great cost; Judge Hardy favoured it in a partial ruling on the issue of “inference arguments” being permissible.

Leading Counsel for the Prosecution QC Wass conceded on Monday that his team did “NOT have any evidence of corruption”. It is now seeking to advance its case to “show that the way in which the Defendants handled funds and assets amounts to a crime.

A member of the Prosecution team, Sasha Wass QC accepted that the “issue of corruption remains unproven” and that “MER Engineering payments were legitimate and it received substantial monthly payments for the rental of houseboats from Chevron”


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