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Court Defers Parker’s arraignment

Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has deferred reading an indictment of economic sabotage, theft of property and criminal conspiracy drawn against suspended National Port Authority Managing Director Matilda Parker and suspended comptroller Christina Kpabar-Pailey, following resistance by their counsels.

They were granted motions of severance and discovery Thurday in compliance to which the prosecutors submitted multiple instruments, including voluntary statements and memorandum of understanding between defendant Deneah M. Flomo’s Denmar Enterprises and the NPA for the provision of Port Security coordination under International Ship Port Security Department and the removal of wrecks from port under the NPA.

Presiding Judge A. Blamo Dixon had just granted the defendants separate trial and ordered the clerk to arraign or read the indictment to ascertain their plea before one of their counsels – Atty. Arthur T. Johnson, raised contentions that the defense wanted time to examine the prosecution’s evidence presented to them.

Both defendants Parker and Kpabar-Pailey were jointly indicted, along with Mr. Deneah M. Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise for allegedly conspiring and defrauding the government of US$837,950 between July 2011 and December 2012.

But Ms. Parker and her comptroller were compelled to seek separate trial after co-defendant Flomo admitted to the charges during investigation at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission or LACC. The Prosecution, however, said in resistance to the defense’s submission that the presence in court yesterday of both parties was in continuation of the trial, and that bthe court had acted legally in having the motions heard and ordering the trial to proceed.

Solicitor General Betty Larmie Blamo said the state would not have objected to defense’s request to continuance, but argued that it was a waste of time by defense to raise contentions when motions filed had been disposed off before the order to proceed with the matter.

Judge Dixon noted the lawyer’s argument and ordered the case reassigned for Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Thursday’s hearing was also characterized by loud cheers and hand hand-claps from people who had gone to the court to witness the trial.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by George Barpeen

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