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May 31, 2006

D.P.P. presents final summation in Affif?s trial

Story PictureIn the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas this afternoon, Director of Public Prosecutions Kirk Anderson presented his final summation of the case against Belize City businessman Gabby Affif. In recanting testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses, Anderson asked the jury of six women and three men to use what he called the circumstantial and direct evidence presented during trial to arrive at a verdict. Referring to Affif’s unsworn testimony from the dock, the D.P.P. submitted, “that statement is not even as weighty as the hot air the defendant breathed when he said it”. Anderson further dismissed Affif’s declarations as a nothing defence, contending “he no know nothing bout nothing, even though it was going on at his business place”. In another part of Anderson’s two hour long address, he told the court that Affif’s title as immigration consultant should be amended to “immigration fraud consultant” and his place of business, Beirut Trading Centre should be called the “Belize Passport Trading Centre”. The D.P.P. contends that while some of the witnesses that testified during the trial may have engaged in criminal wrongdoing, they did not do so without help and that the only person who benefited from those acts financially and reported as a frequent visitor to the passport offices in both Belize City and Belmopan was in fact the defendant. In his final words to the jury before their deliberations, Anderson told the members “Tell the defence to get real”. The case was adjourned until nine tomorrow morning when it is expected that Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold will make the defence team’s summation. Affif is charged with numerous counts of forgery and possession of forged official documents, namely passport and nationality applications.

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