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Zabaneh family in court for environmental violations

Posted: Friday, March 22, 2019. 8:08 am CST.

By Aaron Humes:The Department of the Environment (DOE) continues to pursue 43 year old Dion Zabaneh and his 76 year old mother Primrose Gabourel, over an acre of land in the Buttonwood Bay area which Zabaneh nearly filled in from the sea over the DOE’s objections.


 Initial charges were withdrawn but reinstated along with a new charge for failing to obey an oral request.


Attorney for Zabaneh and Gabourel, Emil Arguelles, issued a preliminary objection to Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford citing abuse of process because the charges had already been withdrawn without explanation.


According to Arguelles, his clients made a plea and that the DOE chose to withdraw those proceedings. He added that he considered it a “joke” that Government, specifically the Ministry of Natural Resources claims to have acquired the property, yet charged Gabourel as if she continues to own the property.


But counsel for the Department Jeavon Hulse says the offences still stand – the pair commenced activity without getting the Department’s okay, and since an intervening date where nothing happened this is actually the Department’s second bite at the cherry.


 Hulse ascribes the Department’s performance thus far to a strict learning curve and a few own-goals – “typos” in his words – but he emphasizes that the Department is girding up and will not let anyone slide from here on out. Magistrate Ford will give a decision on the preliminary objection on April second.


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