Paul Lismore

[Paul Lismore] The DPP's appeal in the FIAMLA case against N. Ramgoolam will fail again...

Rédigé par Paul Lismore le Lundi 26 Juillet 2021

Yes, let me put my neck on the line once more. On 24th September 2019, I argued that the FIAMLA case against Ramgoolam re coffres fort will fail because of FIAMLA itself. In particular, I raised the issue of "exempt transaction", as stipulated by Sub section 5(2) of FIAMLA. Whether we like it or not, Ramgoolam's case comes clearly under the "exempt transaction" category, and he would have never been charged in the first place, if FIAMLA was to be obeyed.

Anyway, here is the post that I wrote in September 2019. I did mention that the general elections will take place before the judgement of the court on 15th November, because victory for NR in the court would have boosted his chances of victory in the elections. So, Pravind Jugnauth held the elections on 7th November 2019....

Here is that post:

FIAMLA: THE BOA CONSTRICTOR AROUND RAMGOOLAM'S NECK UNCOILING ITSELF TO STRANGLE THE JUGS... For the benefit of the intellectual giants who regular educate us with comments like "coffre fort" or "cotomili" and nothing else, FIAMLA is Financial Intelligence and Anti Money Laundering Act, under which the remaining last of 12 charges against Navin Ramgoolam will be heard soon. For quite a long time, I believed that this is the one charge that will finish him off, because on paper, he is guilty as charged. But is he?

I have had time to look at the charge and FIAMLA carefully and several things strike me as possible avenues for Ramgoolam to have the charge thrown out. 

1/ When you are charged with a criminal offence, justice demands that you know the exact date(s) when you are alleged to have committed the crime. The prosecution has not done that and it seems like they can't do it in the FIAMLA case against him. So, how is he expected to defend himself? Where is the equity when the prosecution can just throw any charge at you and not give any details about the dates and circumstances of those offences, and you are expected to defend yourself against something as vague as this?

2/ A charge under money laundering implies that the confiscated money comes from a criminal source. How can you defend yourself if you are not then told the identity of the persons who gave you that 'tainted' money and when the transactions took place? Is the money 'dirty' simply because the police say so, and in the absence of any evidence to prove that it is dirty? That is not justice, and calling it a kangaroo court would be doing a gross disservice to the animal with the heavy punch....

3/ Money laundering involves at least two parties, the donor and the receiver. How come no donors have been charged by the police? Is this a hit or miss criminal justice system?

4/ Ramgoolam has been charged under Section 5 of FIAMLA, " Limitation of payment in cash, i.e. any person who MAKES or ACCEPTS any payment in cash in excess of Rs 500,000 or an equivalent amount in foreign currency...shall commit an offence" But this is subject to Subsection 5 (2) , which states clearly that the above DOES NOT apply to an Exempt Transaction.

5/ Several conditions apply to "Exempt Transaction" but the main ones, as far as the money in the safes is concerned are these:

   (i) An exempt transaction is (d) between a bank or a financial institution and a customer where----
         (i) the transaction does not exceed an amount that is commensurate with the lawful activities of the customer , and ---
          (A) the customer is, at the time the transaction takes place, an established customer of the bank or financial institution; and
           ( the transaction consists of a deposit into, or withdrawal from, an account of a customer with a bank or a financial               institution; or
         (ii) the CEO or COO of the bank or financial institution ....personally approves the transaction.....

Now, I know the above is boring stuff, but put simply it means:

As Prime Minister, Ramgoolam's transactions could easily be classified as commensurate with his lawful activities, i.e. his salary as PM, his per diem, various allowances, etc,  his inheritance from his rich mother and ex PM father, etc.

One would have expected him to be an established customer of a bank or financial institution, same as most of us are.

The money in his coffre fort certainly was wrapped in bundles with the bank's insignia on them, which suggest they came directly from the bank, and not from some louche individual in a raincoat...
As PM, he would have been responsible for the appointment of the boards and CEOs of banks like SBM and DBM, etc...same as Pravin Jugnauth is now.

Now, you think Munni T. Reddy and others would refuse to approve any transaction of ANY PM?
So, if he comes under the exempt transaction category as identified by FIAMLA, it is hard to see how he can be charged under FIAMLA when that is expressly forbidden under those same FIAMLA laws. And if they won't tell him when the alleged crimes occurred and who gave him the 'dirty' money, then  I am afraid it is not looking good for the Jugs...

One thing that caught my eye too: There were Rs 224 millions in the coffre forts. So, how come he has been charged with only Rs 63.8 millions of the Rs 224 millions found in the coffre forts? Does this mean that around Rs 160 millions of that money is 'clean'? If so, why is the Marionette/police still holding on to that money?

We know Ramgoolam's phones are still in police custody despite their absolute uselessness in terms of evidential value. But they will be used and the images manipulated and displayed soon online so that we will be presented with porn type excerpts of him in the leading role...In our etat de droit, these things happen, courtesy of our serviteurs du pays...

The magistrates will hear the application by the defence to throw the case out on 15th November, and I would not be surprised at all if the 12th charge against Ramgoolam suffers the same fate as the previous 11th: thrown into the bin.

Which might explain some of the rumours why Pravin Jugnauth may be considering holding the elections before the 15th November, i.e. before the shit hits the fan....and the boa slithers around the necks of the Jugs instead..

Lundi 26 Juillet 2021

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