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Liberia news

Jury goes to hospital again

The empaneled jury in the ongoing US$800,000 plus trial of former National Port Authority Managing Director Ms. Matilda W. Parker and her comptroller Mrs. Christina Kpabar-Paelay is for the second time returning to an undisclosed hospital today, Thursday, 28 January at 10 A.M.

Presiding Criminal Court “C” Judge A. Blamo Dixon announced Wednesday, 27 January at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia that the jurors would attend to hospital today, a week after the entire panel rejected a local hospital to which they were taken on 19 January for medical examination.

The empaneled jurors are serving as judges of facts in the economic sabotage, theft of property and criminal conspiracy case against the former NPA boss Ms. Parker and her Comptroller Mrs. Paelay, for allegedly awarding wreck removal and security consultancy contracts outside public procurement laws and allegedly left unimplemented.

In his interpretation of the jury panel’s letter written on 7 January to the court, seeking approval to go for medical examination, Judge Dixon said in his opinion that they were not sick. Prosecution has produced four witnesses so far in the case, including the indicted alleged contractor who was nolle prosequi to serve as state witness, Mr. Deneah Martin Flomo; Greenville Port Manager Mr. J. Daffa Wiles; the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission chief investigator Mr. D. Kofa Blamoand Mr. Sunday G. Wright.

Appearing as fourth state witness Wednesday, 27 January Mr. Wright who heads the Greenville Port security in Sinoe County told the court that at no time did a group or firm named Denmar Enterprise ever provide services pertaining to security operations at the port of Greenville.

“… My trainers have been directors at the LSP [Liberian Seaport Police] and the ISPS [International Seaport Police Service], all of the NPA,” said Mr. Wright. He named his trainers as ISPS Director Col. O’Manallay M.S. Lawrence, LSP Assistant Directors Lt./Col. Nathaniel Zeogar and William V. Selmah, respectively.

According to him, he was trained in October 2012, but did not come across Denmar Enterprise or Deneah Martin Flomo. Prior to witness Wright’s appearance yesterday, the third state witness Mr. J. Daffa Wiles told cross-examiners yesterday that he could not give “direct answer” to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission or LACC investigators without seeking clarity on the matter from his boss Ms. Parker.

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“That is why you find my statement in January with choice of words like I do not know; I cannot explain; no, because I needed time to seek clarity from my head office,” he told the court and jury.
Mr. Wiles asked the court to take the jurors to Greenville since the roads are currently dry, so that they can “see the vessel lying there in the basin,” adding that the Oostevieland, the gulf coast and the tug are all still there.

He took up extra time explaining in court that he did not come to lie on Ms. Parker, arguing that he had cordial working relationship with her, stressing that six of the ten years he has been at the Port were under Ms. Parker’s administration.

Having allegedly briefed Ms. Parker over the LACC’s impromptu visit at his Greenville office, Mr. Wiles accused his former boss Parker of advising him that if the LACC re-visited him, he should tell them that he did not know [of the contract], but that he should tell them of the wreck removal “and the security deployment” done at his port.

“And so in July 2015 when the LACC again invited me, I was in the position to have told them about the wrecks removal that was done by the BRE [Buchanan Renewable Energy] and the G-4,” he concluded.The case continues Monday, February 1, at 10 A.M.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Jonathan Browne

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