Liberian authorities have trashed what they termed as false alarm being raised by environmental lawyer Cllr. Alfred Brownell that he and his family are being pursued by national security agents due to his failure to testify in a case drawn against a Malaysian firm Oriental Timber Company or OTC by the Dutch Government.
Following Cllr. Brownell’s assertion that the Government here is allegedly using agents of the Liberia National Police or LNP to arrest him, Solicitor General Cllr. Betty LaminBlamo told journalists on Tuesday, 8 November that government was not after Cllr. Brownell, and his appearance would not be useful because the case has been already dealt with.
The case in which Cllr. Brownell claims the Government was deploying agents to arrest him relates to an investigation that was being conducted against a Duct citizen Mr. Augustus Petrus Maria Kanwenhoven against whom his (Brownell’s) associates from Green Advocates, including Cllr. PowoChea Hilton had testified based on interviews done with locals back in 2004.
Mr. Kounwenhoven was arrested on March 18, 2005 in the Netherlands. Cllr. Blamo said on Tuesday as a result of testimonies solicited from locals in Grand Bassa County by Cllr. Brownell’s Green Advocates on the operation of O.T.C. here which he (Brownell) later turned over to the Dutch authorities, in which he and his associates, who conducted the interviews, were listed as witnesses to the case.
Cllr. Hilton had testified, according to SG Blamo, but Cllr. Brownell who was Executive Director of Green Advocates when the interviews were conducted failed to give his testimony when a panel of Dutch prosecutors and defense aided by both Liberian prosecutors and defense came here to extract testimonies.
She said it was surprising to note that after Cllr. Brownell failed to honor court’s order to appear for the hearing,, he ran to the press after testimonies had been extracted within the time limit provided for the exercise and the Dutch delegation departed the country on Friday.
However, his associate Cllr. Powo had testified that on his (Brownell’s) instruction he (Powo) and another person from a group called Sustainable Development Institute only identified as Sallas, interviewed residents of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County on the operations of O.T.C.
After the interview process, Cllr. Powo said they returned to Monrovia and delivered the documents to Cllr. Brownell, though he (Brownell) did not tell them the reasons behind the work he had sanctioned them to do.
By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne