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Govt relaxes bonds screening

The traditional legal technicalities that defendants often face to justify their criminal appearance bond in courts have been disregarded in the economic sabotage case against some indicted employees of the John F. Kennedy Hospital and others, based on the trial court’s “appeal” to the “goodwill of the prosecution.”

The ruling was handed down on Thursday May 12, by presiding Criminal Court “C” Judge Emery S. Paye. He said the court has appealed to the goodwill of the prosecution “to disregard and drop the question of justifying the Bail Bonds filed by the Defendants.”t the Thursday’s hearing for the bonds filed, court document indicate that some of the accused who were represented include the alleged JFK fraud scheme chief conspirator Patrick Konuwah, Thomas Telewoyan and Rebeah Arnus.

At least eight out of more than 15 defendants were jailed in April following the indictment, including Konuwah, Telewoyan, Arnuhs, James Ricks, Fahn F. Borbor, Jerry D. Morlu, Benjamin Wlay Dargbe, Jr. and Oliver Mezzeh.

As at the time prosecution made the last arrest so far in early April, those who were still said to be on the run included Boakai J. Varney, Lethia W. Waleh, Prince Jallah and his wife Grace Dolly Jallah, John Fred Kennedy, Ballah Holmes and John Freeman Kennedy.

After perusing the case file, Judge Paye said the court intends to proceed with the hearing of the actual matters since indeed the Docket is filled, and that prosecution has consented “in good faith to disregard and drop the question of justifying the bonds under review.”

“Thanks to the Prosecution for being so reasonable under the circumstance,” the court said Thursday, having earlier expressed observation that some of the bail bonds were insufficient and required justification.

“… Prosecution’s Exception to those Bail Bonds under review are hereby disregarded. As such, the Defense’s Motion for justification of Surety is also dropped and disregarded,” the court ruled.

The defendants allegedly deprived the state-run John F. Kennedy Medical Center over L$16m and US$126,000 plus in an alleged criminal syndicate that involved employees of the Central Bank of Liberia, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, a privately-run First International Bank Liberia or FIB and others.

They allegedly operated bank accounts with names similar to the hospital’s name in US and Liberian Dollars and succeeded in diverting money paid to the hospital by several insurance companies to their accounts opened at the FIB.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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