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Gov’t requests subpoena against Court

Prosecutors in the ongoing bribery trial of a Liberia Revenue Authority or LRA custom collector Mr. Joseph Weeks have asked Criminal Court “C” to subpoena the Monrovia Magisterial City Court to provide the original copies of documents produced in the case.

Presiding Judge Yussif D. Kaba on Tuesday, 30 May overruled the defense team’s objection that squarely requested for the denial of prosecution’s request to temporarily mark the photocopies that had been produced while awaiting the original instruments being subpoenaed from the Magisterial Court based at the Temple of Justice.

The subpoenaed instrument involves statements of defendant Weeks and Linda Sumowood, two of those indicted after government claimed to have caught defendant Weeks on CCTV at the Freeport of Monrovia collecting an alleged US$500.00 bribe from ex-US soldier Sanayoko.

State witness G. Alvin James, a chief criminal investigator from the General Crimes Services Section of the Liberia National Police testified Tuesday that defendant Weeks’ fingerprints were done as well as the bills (money) that he handled.

“As I stated that defendant Weeks was fingerprinted and five hundred bills were analyzed and authenticated at the LNP forensic laboratory. And defendant Weeks’ fingerprint and all information concerning the money were all cataloged and placed in the case file and forwarded to Court”, witness James adds.

He testifies further that the record of the fingerprint is not among the statement made by the defendants, referring the cross examination to the Magisterial Court that received the entire file.

The Subpoena request came Tuesday after witness James testified that investigators charged and sent defendant Weeks to the Magisterial Court to authenticate whether there was criminal intent on the part of defendant Sumowood.

The defense are contending that the defendant was not allegedly informed that his statement would have been used against him in the future. Witness James told a cross examination with the defense team that defendant Weeeks allegedly admitted to his involvement in the case.

“But to be specific to your question, I took part and directly spoke with Joseph Weeks and he admitted to me his involvement as you can see on the statement before his counsel, therefore, there is no way one can say that I did not participate in the investigation”, witness James has said.

According to the police investigator, a thorough and intensive investigation was conducted which established from LRA records that Mr. Sanayoko did not owe government anything ”beside the initial assessment that was done for which he paid” already.

The indictment against the defendants claims that they collected the US$500.00 from Mr. Sanayoko in return of waiving further payment of alleged taxes that the accused claim the ex-US soldier due government.

By Winston W. Parley

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