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Apr 29, 2005

Gabby Affif trial sent to Supreme Court

Story PictureIt’s been almost three years since the now infamous passport scandal rocked the Immigration Department. So far only a store clerk from Odette?s, Therese Cabral, has been found guilty of any wrongdoing. But now it seems one of the passport agents is actually headed for trial at the Supreme Court. Today the preliminary inquiry into charges against businessman Jabor “Gabby” Affif ended and at least twenty-four of the thirty-four witnesses scheduled to testify signed documents committing themselves to appearing in court or face being remanded to jail. Chief Magistrate Herbert Lord gathered a room full of summoned witnesses including former head of Immigration, Paulino Castellanos, numerous employees of the Immigration Department, Police Commissioner Gerald Westby, Inspector Bernard Lino and other police officers, Justices of the Peace Rudolph Timbrel and Max Santos, Dr. Arturo Gamero, and Chief Elections Officer Myrtle Palacio. Former News Five reporter Ann-Marie Williams and cameraman George Tillett have also been summoned to testify. Williams was working at Channel Five in July of 2002 when she and George Tillett shot an interview with J.P. Max Santos who signed allegedly fraudulent passport applications at the request of Gabby Affif. The Chief Magistrate announced that today’s procedure, which enforces laws already in place, is due to recent difficulties in getting witnesses to appear at the Supreme Court. He said bench warrants would be issued for the people who failed to present themselves. Gabby Affif is facing one hundred and nineteen counts of forging official documents, namely passport applications, facilitating forgery of those applications and abetment to uttering forged passport applications. He is jointly charged with Hassan El Sayed and the cases have been merged so there will only be one trial scheduled for the criminal session of the Supreme Court, which begins on June twenty-first.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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