–CENTAL urges GOL
The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) is urging the Government of Liberia through the Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission (LACC) to step in and investigate the alleged corrupt act that the United States Department of Treasury to sanction Grand Cape Mount County Senator Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman.
“We call on the GOL especially the LACC, and the Judiciary to investigate reports of corruption and payments and receipt of bribes by judges in the case involving Cllr. Sherman,” CENTAL said Thursday, 10 December.
Addressing a news conference at CENTAL’s office in Sinkor, the group’s Executive Director Mr. Anderson Miamen says the report released by the United States Department of Treasury should not be taken lightly by the administration in the wake of appropriate initial actions by the international partners.
CENTAL says such reported judicial corruption, especially in the Sable Mining case, undermines the position of independence, fairness and upholding the rule of law.
According to Miamen, those actions further violate the Judicial Canons and the Code of Conduct of moral and professional ethics of lawyers.The CENTAL boss reiterates his institution’s call for increased moral and financial support to public integrity institutions to enable them independently and effectively operate.
“We also call for increased citizens’ engagement with the fight against corruption in the country as well as the independent civil society who are all critical players,” Miamen says. CENTAL’s statement follows the release of a damning report by the United States Department of Treasury recently against alleged perpetrators of corruption and serious human rights abuses especially in Liberia.
In that report, Senator Sherman is listed as a government official being either responsible for or complicit in or directly engaged in the act of corruption. The report states that Cllr. Sherman offered bribes to multiple Judges associated with his trial for the 2010 Sable Mining bribery case in which he is said to have had an undisclosed conflict of interest with the judge who ultimately returned a not guilty verdict in July in 2019.
According to the report, the Grand Cape Mount senator routinely paid judges to decide cases in his favor, and allegedly facilitated payments to Liberian politicians to support impeachment of a judge who has ruled against him.
By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley