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Jury tempering probe widens

Jury panel pixPresiding Criminal Court “C” Judge A. Blamo Dixon has ordered the court clerk to cite deputy jury manager Mr. Winston Fayiah and a jury kitchen staffer Janneh Kamara to further enhance investigation into claims of jury tempering in the ongoing US$800,000 plus economic sabotage trial of former officials of the National Port Authority or NPA.

Presiding Criminal Court “C” Judge A. Blamo Dixon has ordered the issuance of two citations, one for deputy jury Manager Mr. Winston Fayiah and the other for a jury kitchen care-taker Janneh Kamara to appear today, Tuesday, February 16 at 10:30 A.M. to exonerate themselves from the allegation made against them by Bailiff Bindu Dukuly.

The jury tempering investigation opened on Monday, 15 January based on prosecution’s claim in the trial of Ms. Matilda Parker and her comptroller Mrs. Christina Kpabar-Paelay who have been facing several months of trial for alleged economic sabotage, theft of property and criminal conspiracy over failure to implement wreck removal and security consultancy contracts.
Bailiff Dukuly claimed to have received two documents from Mr. Fayiah and two other documents from Madam Kamara, who is claimed to be the mother of Jury foreman Kissi Kamara.

The two judicial workers got implicated in a troubling testimony provided to the investigation that is being spearheaded by the court when bailiff Bindu Dukuly from whom police claimed to have intercepted documents that were being sent to the jury, testified on Monday, February 15.

But Bailiffs Bindu Dukuly and Roland Nyankoon testified that the documents did not reach the jury before police took hold of them.  They were both made to provide their accounts to the ongoing jury tempering investigation yesterday, after two police officers testified to have intercepted documents from Bindu on January 30 while the two bailiffs were in argument over the instruments.

In a dramatic confession in court yesterday, bailiff Bindu alleged that she was engaged by Fayiah who took her to his private office to inquire from her if she knew juryman Melvin Teah Neowen and jurywoman Kebbeh Kollie.

Having allegedly confirmed to Fayiah that she knew the two jurors, Bindu claimed that Fayiah admonished her to keep secret a deal that was beginning between them, and later gave her two notes exclusively addressed to jurors Kebbeh and Neowen before offering her $500 Liberian dollars
for lunch and to buy medicines.

After receiving the money and the notes from Fayiah, Bindu said she “walked with ‘P’ and Dignity” from Fayiah’s office amidst laughter from the courtroom, but claimed to have presented the instruments to the police, opposed to police own account that they seized them from her.

Before being discharged from the witness stand, bailiff Bindu pleaded with the court for forgiveness for her role, particularly after Judge Dixon asked why she didn’t bring the issue to his attention since January 30.

Bailiff Roland had earlier narrated he refused Bindu’s call to show him something because he was tired; but noted that she started explaining to police officers concerning the letters in question.
He said Bindu explained that she was called in the kitchen where she received the letters, while Mr. Fayiah from the jury management, also gave her the letter that was typed along with $500 LD to buy medicines.

Roland said he immediately demanded that the letters be taken to the judge, but the police demanded that they be taken to the County Attorney’s office.
However, he failed to orally complain the matter to the judge after the documents were confiscated by police on January 30, and subsequently reported to County Attorney for Montserrado County’s office on grounds that he (Roland) had no document in his possession, and was therefore only waiting to explain what he knew “whenever they bring it to court.”
The first juror who testified, Mr. Melvin Teah Neowen, said he had absolutely no idea, as he in fact challenged the spelling of the name on the note purportedly addressed to him, which he says is spelled
“Teor.” The investigation continues today, Tuesday, February 16, at 10:30 A.M. 

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