A Scania dump truck color (blue and yellow) with license plate TT-1317 recently impounded by the Paynesville Magisterial Court for alleged involvement in the crime of misapplication of entrusted property and theft of property is to be auctioned in 15 days, if its proprietor failed to restitute US$3,000 to complainant Kingston Duwaty.
The truck is reportedly owned by a resident of Paynesville City, Mr. CeebeeBarshell. The Acting Stipendiary Magistrate of Paynesville City Eric K. Cooper reached the decision Wednesday, 26 October when he handed down final judgment in the case.
According to court record, on January 19, 2015, private prosecutor, Kingston Duwaty hired the services of a transport truck owned by Mr. Barshell and managed by defendants John Totage and Abu Kamara (now at large) to transport 21 drums of gasoline value at US$5,525.00 and a drum of fuel oil value at L$25,900 with empty drums value at US$550.00 to Grand Gedeh County, southeast Liberia.
The court narrates that after loading the truck with the private prosecutor’s goods, the driver requested to go and pump/fix the truck’s tyres before taking off for the journey. Based on this understanding, private prosecutor Duwaty went ahead to Grand Gedeh on a motorbike hoping the defendants will follow.
It discloses that the private prosecutor, not being able to spot the truck between Monrovia and Zwedru, promptly returned to Monrovia only to discovered that the driver had absconded with his goods thereby, compelling the complainant to report the matter to the Zone Five Police Depot.
Moreover, the court judgment details that while defendant John Totage was arrested by the police, co-defendant Abu Kamara remains at large to date, along with the private prosecutor’s goods.
On September 2, 2015, both defendants Totage and Kamara were duly taken to court and charged with the crime of Misapplication of Entrusted Property. Defendant John Totage being the only one arrested was duly arranged before former magistrate Nelson Chineh, on February 10, 2015 after proprietor Mr. Ceebee Barshall, and one Marvin filed a criminal appearance bond of US$13, 110,00 on the same date in accordance with section 13.5.
The judgment notes that consistent with defendant John Totage’s statement before the Liberia National Police, he admitted that Abu Kamara is manager of the truck and one of his drivers in whose care the theft occurred.
The court continues that having taken full responsibility for the act committed by co-defendant Abu Kamara, defendant Totage executed a commitment note to pay complainant Kingston Duwaty the amount of US$3,000.00 thru installment on the following dates: January 10, 2016 US$1,500.00; February 10, 2016, US$1,000.00; and March 10, 2016, US$500.00, respectively, but
failed to restitute the money.
Meanwhile, one of the counsels for defendant Totage has vehemently rejected the court ruling, indicating that he would take an appeal to the 1st Judicial Circuit, Criminal Court “C” sitting in its November 2016 term of court, while the complainant was represented in court by government chief prosecutor Attorney M. Varney Perry.
By Emmanuel Mondaye-Editing by Jonathan Browne