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Feb 6, 2019

DOE Withdraws Charges Against Developer Dion Zabaneh

Private developer Dion Zabaneh is free to proceed with filling lot number 4670, after charges against him for infractions that were purportedly committed in defiance of the Environmental Protection Act were withdrawn by the Department of the Environment.  In early January, both parties became embroiled in a heated dispute over Zabaneh’s intent to build on seafront property belonging to his mother, Primrose Gabourel.  The Caribbean Shores parcel in question is submerged and requires significant work.  When Zabaneh commenced filling, he was issued a cessation order by D.O.E., which he ignored.  A few days later, representatives of that government agency attempted to serve an enforcement notice on the titleholder which led to a confrontation involving the police.  The matter subsequently ended up before the lower court where Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford presided over the case.  Attorney Jeavon Hulse, who represents the Department of the Environment, put forward that Zabaneh needed an environmental clearance in order to continue with the development.  Zabaneh and his mother were of a different view and sought the services of attorney Emil Arguelles, who argued that approval from D.O.E. was never needed.  Today, when the matter resumed it was simply to inform Arguelles and his clients that all charges against Zabaneh had been pulled back.

 

Emil Arguelles

Emil Arguelles, Attorney for Dion Zabaneh

“Regretfully, the Department of the Environment has withdrawn the charges and we were hoping for an opportunity to prove and show that in this matter DOE approval was not even required in the first place.  Nevertheless, they have applied for permission and the response was prior to this case that prior to the decision today that there is a pending matter before the court.  That pending matter is now withdrawn and we’ll wait to see what other excuse DOE might come up with now.”

 

Reporter

“So as far as you are aware, are your clients able to progress as they please with their property?”

 

Emil Arguelles

“That was their opinion from the beginning.  In effect, it was their opinion that DOE approval was never required in the first place.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, why was it important that you sought the senior magistrate’s action to dismiss the charges instead of them being withdrawn?”

 

Emil Arguelles

“That was just to secure an additional legal strategy that I prefer not to explain at this point in time.”


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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