An entire jury panel in the trial of former National Port Authority or NPA Managing Director Ms. Matilda Parker and her comptroller Mrs. Christina Kpabar-Paelay is heading to seek “medical examination” to an unknown hospital.
“Based on the general consensus of the lawyers and the court, the jurors shall proceed to an unknown hospital for medical examination predicated upon an arrangement between the Hospital and the Jury Management Team,” said presiding Criminal Court “C” Judge A. Blamo Dixon on Wednesday, 13 January.
Ms. Parker and Mrs. Paelay are on trial after they were jointly indicted for economic sabotage over claims that two contracts value over US$800,000 awarded Mr. Deneah Martin Flomo to remove wrecks from ports and provide security consultancy were never implemented, and as well violated public procurement laws.
But the alleged contractor Mr. Flomo has already begun testifying in favor of the state after the court granted prosecution’s request to nolleprosequi him or abandon further legal action against him.
The court had sought the input of both prosecution and defense counsels in the case regarding the situation pertaining to the jurors’ health-care and medication examination and treatment.
On January 7, the empannelled jurors wrote presiding Criminal Court “C” Judge A. Blamo Dixon, requesting the court’s permission to seek medical attention or care.
But in Judge Dixon’s interpretation of the jurors’ letter to the court, he said it was his opinion “that they are not sick,” but noted that “they want to seek medical examination to be on the safe side to continue the trial.”
According to Judge Dixon, the letter was submitted to the Jury Management Office and the court was assured that the medical institution hired by the Judiciary for jury medication would be contacted.
The Judge said the contacts were made and the medical institutions advised the Jury Management Office for the jurors to proceed to one of the hospitals contracted by the Judiciary.
It is not however stated what day the jurors would be taking off for the unknown hospital, but Judge Dixon has cautioned them to be careful when they go for medical care. The case continues on Friday, 15 January at 10:30am, with witness Flomo still on the stand as second state witness.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Jonathan Browne