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Jackson, Lebanese in legal fight

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Jackson LebaneseDeputy Information Minister Atty. Isaac W. Jackson is locked in a legal battle against the Lebanese-operated garage Pitstop Corporation after a vehicle he took to the garage for repair was allegedly seized by the General Services Agency or GSA on grounds that it belongs to the Government of Liberia.

Lebanese national Ali Fawaz and Pitstop Corporation Operation Manager Ansu Kallon have been taken to the Monrovia City Court in the case with multiple charges of misapplication of entrusted property, receiving money under false pretense and theft of property based on Minister Jackson’s allegations.

Police investigative findings suggest that the vehicle in question was received from Mr. Jackson by the management of Pitstop Garage to have it repaired “through the MOH [Ministry of Health] Ebola Trust Fund.” Despite allegedly retrieving the vehicle from the GSA on June 1, 2016, police said defendant Fawaz refused to repair the vehicle, following which he was arrested on June 2, 2016.

Attorney Jackson narrated that last year, he took his government- assigned Ford Everest vehicle with license plate RL-2187 to the Pitstop Corporation for repair and was signed for by Manager Kallon. But according to defendant Ali Fawaz, the same vehicle which is said to belong to Mr. Jackson had earlier been taken to the Pitstop Corporation located in Congo Town by the Ministry of Health for repair in February 2015, making alleged payment of US$3,700 to his company.

Three months after allegedly delivering the vehicle to the Ministry of Health, defendant Fawaz alleged that Minister Jackson returned with the same vehicle and requested for repair again. This time around, defendant Fawaz says his company demanded US$6,000 for the repair, but claimed that Attorney Jackson left the vehicle at the garage with the understanding that he would come back to pay.

Few months after, he claimed that the GSA came and collected the vehicle on grounds that it belongs to the government just before Minister Jackson could come, hoping to collect his vehicle. The deputy MICAT boss took legal issues against the company, with claims that it promised “through document” to have repaired and returned the vehicle in question on December 23, 2015, but allegedly failed to do so up to June 3, 2016.

Minister Jackson says without reference to him, he learnt on Saturday, May 28 that the garage turned over the vehicle to the GSA.

After conducting thorough investigation, police said there were crimes of misapplication of entrusted property, receiving money under false pretense and that the accused committed theft of property by misapplying the vehicle in question. Police confirmed that Pitstop Garage made a promissory note to Mr. Jackson, committing itself on November 6, [2015] to repair the vehicle and deliver it on December 23, 2016.

“That, PITSTOP Garage turned the vehicle (Ford Everest, RL-2187) over to the GSA on April 4, 2016 without contacting Mr. Jackson, who took the vehicle at the garage for repair,” the police said.

By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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