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$34.4m Money Laundering: Defence Counsel’s Application Stalls Bail Hearing of Binance Executive

Hearing of bail application of Binance Holdings Limited and one of its Executives, Tigran Gambaryan, before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja, was on Thursday, April 18, 2024, stalled following a fresh application filed by counsel to the second defendant, Mark Mordi, SAN.

The defence’s application, a further affidavit in response to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC’s opposition to the initial bail application filed before the court, could not be heard because the EFCC’s counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, prayed for an adjournment to properly respond to it.

“My Lord, this is a criminal trial, we need to do the needful. It will be unfair for me to be shut down on the issue of fair trial. It’s not even convenient on my own part to seek for this adjournment, but the needful needs to be done, my Lord. That is why we are applying for a short adjournment for Monday or Tuesday to reconvene, and to file our further counter affidavit”, he said.

Meanwhile, Mordi didn’t oppose  the adjournment prayer of the prosecution but said the prosecution was claiming they had an intelligence that the defendant is a flight risk and may run away.

“My Lord, it is a fact we didn’t know, that they had an intelligence that the defendant may run away because he has dual nationality. He knew it, he didn’t say it, and all we are doing is to respond to what he will say here in the court. He can say that now and we can continue. We can give him two hours to do so because the liberty of my client is at stake”, he said.

Justice Nwite, after listening to the counsels, adjourned the matter till April 22, 2024, for hearing of bail application.

Tigran Gambaryan is facing trial by the EFCC over alleged $34,400,000 (Thirty-Four Million, Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), money laundering charges. He was arraigned alongside Binance Holdings Ltd and Nadeem Anjarwalla, (who is currently at large) on five-count charges bordering on alleged tax evasion, currency speculation and money laundering.

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