Counsel to James Ibori, Nicholas Purnell, continued mitigation arguments today harping on Ibori's achievement in Delta state during his reign as governor. Mr. Purnell also blamed Bhadresh Gohil for Ibori's misdeed, claiming that Mr. Gohil as solicitor to Mr. Ibori misled him into engaging in unlawful acts of money laundering.
When Ibori arrived today he was wearing the same dark suit he wore during yesterday's hearing. He gave a small wave from the rented crowd in court. He manages to give a thumbs up and a big wide grin to the correspeondent from his newspaper, Daily Independent.-Mr. Purnell states that the architect of the scheme was solicitor Bhadresh Gohil. Purnell blames Gohil for everything including money laundering that enabled ibori buy a jet from Canada.-Purnell: "I'm not seeking to minimise my clients role, but it is relavent when your honour comes to balance the relative culpability when considering sentence" Gohil got 10 years.
Mr. Purnell hands a dossier of Ibori's Achievements" to the judge saying it is important to consider character in sentencing.An interesting development took place when when information surfaced regarding the work Ibori did for former maximum dictator Sanni Abacha in the US in 1994. Counsel claims Ibori was employed as an Ambassador with expertise in combating drug trafficking and money laundering which made Abacha send him to the US, a service for which he was paid $1.5 million.Judge Pitts sentences James Ibori to 13 years in prison for money laundering.
Judge says he "recognizes that there is another side to the man James ibori but he is not the proper person to judge your achievements and failings as a governor, that is up to the people of delta state"Judge Pitts: None of the sentencing guidelines even get close to the amounts in your caseIbori now looking very fed upIf he had fought the case judge says he would be looking at 24 years but will get a discount for pleading guilty.
He then sentenced former gover james Ibori to 13 years in prison.Judge deducts 645 days already spent in jail, says Ibori would serve the rest in British jail. That means Mr. Ibori will be in prison for at least 7 years.Judge risen now reconvene to sort out confiscation hearings will file copy in a moment.