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Politics News

Gov’t declines witness production

Prosecutors say they do not intend to produce new witnesses and evidences because they are satisfied with testimonies given during the first trial of former National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director Ms. Matilda Parker and her former comptroller Mrs. Christiana Kpabar – Pailey.

“That prosecution gives notice that it does not intend to put new witness on the witness stand during this second trial, neither does it intend to introduce into evidence documentary evidences aside those produced during the first trial …,” prosecution said Thursday, 27 September.

Ms. Parker and Mrs. Pailey were indicted on multiple charges of theft of property, economic sabotage and criminal conspiracy for allegedly defrauding government of US$837,950.00 between July 2011 and December 2012.

In the first trial, the State says it produced six witnesses, including J. Blama Kofa from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Deneah Martin Flomo, J. Daffa Wiles, Sunday G. Wright, Patrick N. Konneh and Emmanuel Z. Davies from December 15, 2015 through February 5, 2016.

Furthering its argument, the State says these witnesses testified and were cross – examined at separate dates under oath to talk the truth and nothing but the truth before the same Criminal Court “C”.

The State relies on the Supreme Court Opinion in Musa Solomon Fallah Vs. RL decided 21 July 2011 that “The law recognizes that it is sometimes impossible to produce a witness who had testified at a formal trial, as well, the witness has become in sense or is out of the jurisdiction.”

But in its counterargument, the defense describes prosecution’s submission as “unmeritorious and unprecedented,” urging the court to deny it.

The defense says the trial will start at fresh before a different judge with parties’ representation being different to some extent.

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The defense maintains that it will be unprecedented to ask the new judge who is sitting as jury de facto and at the same time a judge in a case in which he had no prior knowledge to admit evidence that he did not listen to or hear.

Further the defense argues that the law cited by prosecution as reliance is not related to the subject matter.

According to the defense, “in the opinion of the Supreme Court, it was an issue of an in camera proceedings that denies the defendants to the right to cross examine a witness that he could not see in the case of Defendant Fallah in the rape case.”

The defense counsel believes that prosecution does not have any witness to testify in this matter against the indictees, claiming that State witnesses could not be found.

The first trial was called – off nearing its end due to prosecution’s claim of alleged jury tampering, and the government is now saying it waives giving of the theory of the case since the parties and lawyers in the second trial were the same in the first trial conducted between 2015 and 2016.

The Sirleaf regime indicted Ms. Parker and Mrs. Pailey for allegedly designing a criminal scheme in which they awarded two “sole source” contracts to co-defendant Deneah Martins Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise for the removal of wrecks and dredging of the Port of Greenville.

The Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice has scheduled argument in this submission for Tuesday, 2 October at 9am.

By Winston W. Parley

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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