James Ibori-Case Against Solicitor Withdrawn By The Crown Prosecution Service-The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has withdrawn the case of perversion of justice currently being preferred against Bhadresh Gohil, the Solicitor who represents James Ibori, in his corruption trial in the United Kingdom.
The former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori is currently serving jail terms in a United Kingdom prison while his lawyer, Gobil had faced allegations of perversion of course of justice at the Southwark Court in South-East London, after the solicitor claimed that certain aspect of the case was influenced by security officials obtaining bribes
As the court commenced a case of alleged perversion of justice against the solicitor, in Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, the leading prosecution counsel for Crown Prosecution Service Sasha Wass (QC) expressed that the British government was no longer interested in prosecuting the solicitor as a result of certain emerging anomaly which may expose certain implicating loopholes in the execution of the previous proceedings. It had been alleged that certain money changed hands during investigations into Ibori’s corruption case
It was however summed up that James Ibori’s solicitor Gohil Bhadresh may after all be innocent of the allegations levelled against him on the ground that the Crown Prosecution Counsel may not want to complicate matters in the case.
It was therefore held that Bhadresh may not have been guilty of all the charges they have brought against him.
‘We are no longer interested in pursuing this case against Mr Gohil Bhadresh, we could not establish any evidence against him that he is guilty’.
Fifty-two year old Mr Bhadesh was charged with producing and falsifying and distributing false allegations that the Metropolitan Police officers had been paid huge sums of money in form of corrupt payments from a firm of private detectives, investigating allegations of corruption against his client, James Ibori.
Bhadresh was also charged with producing false information before a parliamentary committee investigating the claim while also organising a campaign to publish articles in the media to support his myriads claim of false allegations.
He was charged to a Westminster magistrates court in London accused of intending to pervert the course of public justice.
During the commencement of the case, a private detective, Cliff Knuckey, was also charged with five offences under the Theft Act of faking documents involving payments totaling £11,500. Knuckey pleaded not guilty.
The court also heard about how Gohil allegedly produced and distributed a number of documents which contained false allegations that officers of the Metropolitan police had received corrupt payments from the firm of private detectives, Risc Management, and that Risc Management supplied confidential information to police officers in the Ibori case.
Among other allegations, Gohil was said to have provided false information to the House of Commons home affairs select committee in a written submission dated January 2012.
In the submission, Gohil claimed that he had not been aware of the allegations before they were reported in the London’s Evening Standard on 31 October 2011.
The solicitor was also charged of providing “false information in furtherance of his appeal against conviction that he had first seen Risc Management invoice breakdowns which contained references to payments to sources when they were sent to him anonymously in April or May 2011”.
Knuckey, 60, of Brookland, Kent,was also charged with falsifying breakdowns of invoices from the private company, Risc Management to Speechly Bircham solicitors which dated 1 and 31 October 2007. The documents had purportedly revealed that he had made payments of £5,000 and £1,500 to private confidential sources.
Knuckey is also accused of falsifying a breakdown of an invoice dated 14 August 2008 from Risc Management to Arlington Sharmas solicitors purporting to show that he had made a payment of £5,000 to a confidential source.
Private detective Cliff Knuckey was also charged with falsifying documents that “inflated the hours he had worked” and “purported to show he had incurred sundry expenses”.
As the hearing progressed, District Judge Ken Grant transferred the case to be heard at the London South-East Southwark crown court which had heard series of hearings, which commenced last August.