24/03/10 (B543-B) Somaliland Press : President of Djibouti is accused of murder // Le président de Djibouti est accusé de meurtre (En Anglais avec VOA et AFP))

A Djibouti businessman and opposition figure filed a civil lawsuit in Paris against President Ismael Omar Guelleh for serious crimes that include murder and extortion, he and his lawyer said Tuesday to the French news Agnecy AFP.

Abdourahman Boreh, who has headed a large infrastructure compnay and other public bussinesses in Djibouti, accused the president and his wife Khadra Haid of murder, kidnapping, torture and extortion.

According to Boreh’s lawyer, Olivier Morice, Boreh “has been the target of threats and intimidation by Djibouti authorities, which forced him to flee Djibouti in autumn 2008.”

In press conference in Paris, Mr. Abdurahman Boreh said he was victim of multiple extortion attempts and was forced to suspend his business in the country. At first the attacks targeted his assets and businesses but it escalted to to target his business associates and family members, two of whom died in suspicous circumstances, Morice said.

Mr. Boreh’s nephew has been found hanged at his home in February 2009. Also his cousin died after being detained and tortured in prison Gabode and another cousin is incarcerated for a year, Morice added.

Mr. Boreh, who has dual citizenship of France and Djibouti, detailed number of events that forced him out of the Djibouti. He accuses the Djiboutian government of arbitrarily detaining his staff including the General Manager of one of his companies, Soprim Construction, who has a Canadian citizenship, and its chief accountant who is from India.

“I’ve lost more than 30 million dollars (22 million euros) and I no longer have any commercial activities in Djibouti. I had to close down everything,” Boreh told AFP.

The aim from extortion and political pressure is to prevent Mr. Boreh from running in the upcoming presidential election next year, according to Olivier Morice.

Mr. Boreh lawyer, Olivier Morice, also defended the interests of Elizabeth Borrel, widow of French judge Bernard Borrel, whose corpse was found half-burned in a ravine in Djibouti in 1995.

For years, Judge Borrel’s affair strained relations between Paris and its former colony, where France has its largest military base abroad with nearly 3,000 men.

A Djiboutian court declared the incident as a suicide. However, Judge Borrel’s wife Elisabeth Boreel, herself a magistrate, believes her husband was assassinated by Djibouti authorities and accused the French government of covering-up the truth to protect its strategic interests in Djibouti.

In other development, Mr. Boreh in interview with VOA, warned from changing the constitution to extend presidential terms. Parlimenat in Djibouti is expected to make a decision on whatether the current two terms presidental limit should be extended to three terms. Recently, President Guelleh was quoted as saying the people of Djibouti are demanding a change to the constitution which will extend presidential term limits.