7 ans et demi après, le journaliste chevronné, Stellio Antonio blanchi par la justice…

by | Jan 25, 2021 | Actualités, Edito, Faits Divers

Un jugement fort intéressant est tombé dans un procès qui aura duré pas moins de sept ans et six mois, le 15 janvier 2021 en Cour Intermédiaire. Il a été prononcé par M. Raj Seebaluck, aujourd’hui, Deputy Master and Registrar et bientôt Juge. Ce jugement de 15 pages concerne un cas de complot logé par le Parquet après une enquête bâclée du CID de Curepipe, alors placé sous la responsabilité de ASP Rajaram qui depuis quelque temps est affecté au CID Central.

C’est une affaire où deux honnêtes citoyens de la République ont dû répondre devant la justice d’un acte qu’ils n’ont jamais commis. Il s’agit de MM. Teemul Gokool et Stellio Antonio. Le premier nommé, un Salesman, avait rapporté à Lottotech et à la Police qu’il avait gagné le jackpot du Loto le 7 septembre 2013 mais que son ticket était introuvable.
M. Stellio Antonio, alors Public Affairs Manager de Lottotech, mais mieux connu comme un journaliste chevronné de carrière au sein du groupe Le Mauricien – Week-End où il a passé 27 ans, était accusé par la CID de Curepipe d’avoir comploté pour que M. Gokool reçoive le jackpot de quelques Rs 25 millions et qu’en retour il lui donne une grosse somme. (En fait la police a cité trois sommes différentes à trois reprises !). Les deux personnes clamaient toujours leur innocence.

A l’éclatement de l’affaire, M. Gokool avait été mis en détention à Vacoas le 17 septembre 2013 et M. Antonio le lendemain. M. Gokool y est resté pendant six nuits et M. Antonio pendant cinq nuits. Déjà, c’est une énorme bourde que de détenir deux accusés dans le même centre de détention. Une nouvelle recrue de la police n’aurait certainement pas fait une erreur aussi monumentale.

Les bourdes se succèderont jusqu’à ce que le magistrat Raj Seebaluck rende son jugement en faveur des deux accusés le 15 janvier 2021. Un jugement très critique si ce n’est extrêmement dur envers la CID de Curepipe de M. Rajaram. Un jugement qui n’épargne pas le manque de professionnalisme, les mensonges et la mauvaise foi de certains membres de l’équipe d’alors de la CID de Curepipe pour piéger M. Antonio. Certains officiers, en particulier le Sergent Kavita Nothoo, maintenant inspectrice à la CID Central, sont cloués au pilori dans le jugement sans précédent tellement que leurs versions étaient truffées de contradictions, les unes plus surprenantes que les autres.
Le rôle du trio infernal RAJARAM – OMRAWOO – NOTHOO
Le magistrat fait ressortir que l’enquête comporte plusieurs zones d’ombre et le comportement affreux de certains officiers donnent vraiment des frissons. En somme, en allant au plus profond dans ce jugement on remarque que la CID de Curepipe avec le trio infernal RAJARAM – OMRAWOO – NOTHOO cherchait tout simplement à avoir la tête de M. Stellio Antonio, journaliste chevronné qui a mis au grand jour plusieurs scandales, de courses truquées, de dopage, d’usurpation d’identité des chevaux, d’importation de produits dopant EPO par un vétérinaire, dans le monde hippique et qui avait dénoncé les manœuvres pour évincer l’excellent ex-patron de la douane, Bert Cunningham. Il n’avait pas eu peur de dénoncer deux anciens limiers de la CID, et aussi certaines personnes qui en voulaient à une catégorie de bookmakers. Cela lui avait valu bien des misères…

Tel David Copperfield, le trio RAJARAM – OMRAWOO – NOTHOO transforme les innocents en coupables
Le jugement qui fera date dans les annales du judiciaire doit être lu et relu tellement il est intéressant. C’est un jugement qui nous fait comprendre comment, tel David Copperfield, la CID de Curepipe mené par le trio infernal Rajaram – Omrawoo – Nothoo transforme les innocents en coupables en un tour de main. Le magistrat tire à boulets rouges contre Mme Nothoo qui donne l’impression d’être à tout faire, sombrant dans le mensonge. Nous n’évoquerons pas ici l’affaire David Gaiqui et tout ce qu’on aurait à dire sur la CID de Curepipe.

Sous serment, M. Gokool disculpe le journaliste Stellio Antonio et cloue au pilori les enquêteurs de la CID de Curepipe

Sans doute, la déposition sous serment en cour de M Gokool qui a maintenu que « it was officers of Curepipe CID who forced him to state that Accused No. 2 (-ndlr M. Antonio) had supposedly asked him for money for his services ». Tout cela a démontré cette grande volonté de la CID de Curepipe sous la responsabilité de ASP Rajaram de transformer un innocent en coupable. M. Gokool “ further explained that he did so under duress and promised that he will be released from police custody”.
Le magistrat a fait remarquer que M. Gokool “struck me as a person who had the genuine belief that he was the winner of the jackpot the more so that he had lost his Lotto ticket. His explanation about telling police that he was not the winner once he knew that he had not played at the time the winner V. T had played. Having seen and listened to Accused 1 have serious doubt about his alleged police version implicating Accused 2 as asking for money. It is on all fours that as confirmed by Accused 1, the part played by Accused 2 was by all means trying to help Accused 1. It is to be noted that PC Poligadoo of Eau Coulee Police Station did the same as Accused 2 or even more in his endeavour to help Accused 1. Yet the said police officer was at no time bothered by his colleagues of Curepipe CID”.

La version sous serment de Stellio Antonio jugée crédible par le magistrat

“Accused 2, on his part has denied in his police statements and in court under oath that he had conspired with Accused 1 to defraud the real lotto winner. Clearly, he only gave the publicly known winning numbers to Accused 1 without divulging the other important information contained in the Lotto ticket mechanism. This in itself adds credence to his sworn version. The more so that it has been confirmed by witness 14 that Accused 2 as a responsible officer did exactly what was required from him in the circumstances. Other high ranking Lottotech officers were accordingly informed by Accused 2 of the case of Accused 1.”

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Les observations et conclusions du magistrat : Case dismissed

It is apposite at this stage, to highlight certain observations made by this Court upon an analysis of evidence available, namely:
1. Accused 2 in his capacity as Public Relation Officer at Lottotech was regularly required to meet winners of Lotto and this was confirmed by Inspector Goinden.
2. PC Pudman confirmed, supported by Doc. C, that his examination of the different mobile phones revealed no evidential value.
3. The lottery draw was effected on 7 September 2013. Accused 1 reported his case on 17 September, 2013 at Eau Coulee Police Station as was required by the rules of Lottotech in such cases as his
4. 3.1 – It was only on 17 September, 2013 that Accused 1 was called by Curepipe CID which had taken over the said enquiry for a case of “False declaration”.
5. 3.2.- It was confirmed by PC Panchoo that WPS Nothoo was the enquiring officer in the present matter.
6. 3.3.-There was complete opacity by police prosecution’s witnesses to reveal the identity of the supervising officer as to whether it was CI Omrawoo or ASP Rajaram or both of them
7. 3.4.- WPS Nothoo was very economical and evasive in her version in cross-examination in trying to evade tricky questions by simply stating that she was not the enquiring officer when in truth she was the one. In her capacity as the enquiring officer it was odd to note that she was not aware as to how Accused 1 landed at Curepipe CID. At times, she was unable to give proper answers when asked as to how the police enquiry unfolded. It was again very disturbing when she candidly stated that she was only concerned with Accused 2 and did not know about the case against Accused 1 albeit admitting that she had gone through all the statements recorded from Accused 1.
8. 3.5.- There are serious question marks over the part played by WPS Nothoo in the enquiry whereby she candidly transferred the responsibility on ASP Rajaram. Therefore, her testimony was hard to be believed on the whole. Besides, she admitted that she was not fully conversant with the procedures of Lottotech. In such circumstances, it is clear that the enquiry was not fairly conducted.
9. 4.- Richard Clovis Papie, Security Manager at Lottotech, made it clear in no uncertain terms that there was no doubt as to the genuineness in the version of Accused 1 as reported to Lottotech until witness 15 called there with the winning ticket. He further confirmed that Accused 2 was all along within the parameters of the Rules and protocols of Lottotech.

Taking all the above into consideration, this Court is of considered conclusion that this is a fit case where both accused parties may be given the benefit of the doubt which I accordingly give them.

The case for the prosecution not having been proved beyond all reasonable doubt is therefore dismissed against both accused parties.

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