The Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has denied a request by one of the indictees in the John F. Kennedy Medical Center or JFKMC’s economic sabotage trial, Mr. Rebeah Arnus, seeking the court’s subpoena of a laptop from which state witness Mrs. Gbaba claimed documents were deleted.
Defendants Patrick Konuwah, Rebeah Arnus and Fahn F. Borbor remain on trial for economic sabotage, theft of property, money laundering, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation for allegedly diverting into their personal uses over L$16m and more than US$126,000 of insurance companies’ payments intended for the hospital.
They were among more than 15 persons indicted by government out which only eight were arrested and incarcerated while the rest remain on the run, including a Central Bank of Liberia’s employee Prince Jallah and his wife who was executive secretary to JFK CEO Grace Dolly Jallah, among others.
After producing an IT specialist Mr. Wynston Poure as defense witness to testify for defendant Arnus on Wednesday, 13 July, his legal counsel later requested the court to issue a writ of subpoena duces tecum against the JFK Hospital for the presentation of the laptop in question from which documents were allegedly deleted after defendant Arnus allegedly installed a computer program called Team Viewer.
In resistance to the defendant’s request, prosecution said JFKMC did not have the personal laptop of Mrs. Gbaba, arguing that under the laws of Liberia, only a person who is in possession of an instrument could be subpoenaed to produce it.
“More besides, the issue of the installation of the team viewer on the laptop of Mrs. Gbaba is not in dispute as Rebeah Arnus while on the witness stand on yesterday [Tuesday, July 12, 2016] … admitted having installed team viewer on Mrs. Gbaba laptop,” the prosecution argued.
The State additionally contended that producing Mrs. Gbaba’s laptop was irrelevant in the case on grounds that it cannot prove or disprove the installation of team viewer after defendant Arnus had admitted. The prosecution recalled that defendant Arnus testified that he did not delete any transaction from Mrs. Gbaba’s laptop using QuickBooks software and he was not knowledgeable in QuickBooks.
Rather, prosecution said defendant Arnus can use his laptop to convince the court that it is not possible for his laptop to have been used; having noted that the indictee had testified that his laptop’s hard drive had crashed.
Ruling on the defendant’s request to subpoena the laptop from JFK Hospital, presiding Judge Emery S. Paye said the request was “unnecessary at this time” since two expert witnesses who were IT specialists testified and rested with the matter.
Judge Paye said the evidence adduced by the two IT specialists was the satisfaction of the court; and should there be a doubt between the testimonies of the two specialists, the court was in the position to resort to the answer if the need arises. “Hence, the request for the submission of a computer as prayed for is hereby denied and the resistant to the request is hereby sustained,” the judge ruled.
By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne