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Ruling on new application for detention of Valabhji’s residence set for Friday |09 March 2023

The Supreme Court has set for this coming Friday at 2pm, the ruling on the extension of the detention order of Laura and Mukesh Valabhji’s property at Morne Blanc, by police commissioner Ted Barbe.

The property was seized in November 18, 2021 after 57 firearms and over 37,000 rounds of ammunition were discovered at the residence.

On August 28, 2022, the commissioner of police, Ted Barbe, filed a petition requesting for the detention of the property under section 26 of the Prevention Terrorism Act 2004 (PTA), which states that a property can be seized in the event of it to be found storing weapons to be used for terrorism acts, which was the case of the Valabhji couple’s residence.

Since then, the police have been awarded with extended detention orders of 60 days by the court, to detain the property. 

Given that the detention order expired yesterday, the prosecution had filed for another extended detention order on the property. In his ruling on Monday, Judge Mohan Burhan stated that he could not give a ruling as the case has to be heard by the main trial judge, Justice Rony Govinden, who was presiding over the arms and terrorism case, involving the couple and former army officers, Leslie Benoiton, Leopold Payet and Frank Marie.

In court yesterday afternoon, Justice Govinden did not rule on the case but referred it back to judge Burhan, stating that it was not for him but rather Judge Burhan to give the ruling with regards to the new extended detention order application.

The state, on behalf of the police commissioner, was being represented by lawyer George Thachett assisted by lawyer Alvin Marie.  Mr Valabhji was represented by lawyer France Bonte while his wife, was representing herself.


Patrick Joubert

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