Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Djibouti Corruption Case Dismissed by UK Courts

 A U.K. court recently dismissed a claim made by the Government of Djibouti against a powerful businessman who had fallen out of favor with the government.

 The politically-connected businessman, Abdourahman Mohamed Mahmoud Boreh, is credited with playing an integral role in the development of the nation’s ports, oil storage, and duty free facilities. The government is petitioning for control of these facilities that are currently owned by Dubai-based DP World and other subsidiaries. Its argument rests in how bribery and fraudulent agreements for consultancy payments infringe upon investment and infrastructure agreements that are already in effect. Justice Flaux asserted that the legal proceedings were jumpstarted by Boreh’s lack of support for the president running for a third term, noting a break in their former friendship.
The claim based on the alleged conflict of interest demonstrated that the Djibouti Law on Civil Servants took away prohibitions on civil servants having private interests as long as they were disclosed. According to Flaux, the president was informed about Boreh’s potential conflicts of interest. Although London courts dismissed the case, there is a deeper lesson ingrained in the corruption claim. “The case illustrates, if at some length, the need to protect infrastructure investments from the consequences of political vendettas,” according to a recent post about the case on FCPA Blog, “particularly within a close knit economic and political elite, and that the governing or applicable laws for such investments should be sufficiently nuanced to reflect local laws and operating conditions.”