Liberia’s number one GSM Company, Lonestar Cell MTN, appeared on the witness stand on Monday in the ongoing mercenary trial against some 18 Liberians, accused of involvement in the Ivorian crisis.
Newly admitted Attorney, Reverend Dr. Lawrence Konmla Bropleh, the company’s Head of Corporate Affairs, appeared yesterday to produce call logs of cell number 0886558592 for the period July 14-16, 2013. Atty. Bropleh identified the number (0886558592) to be that of Montserrado County Attorney J. Darku Mulbah.
The state requested the court to have Lonestar Cell MTN subpoenaed after defendant Emmanuel Pewee, in his testimony, alleged that he had talked with Cllr. Mulbah on July 16, 2013 on cell number 0886558592.
When asked during cross examination to identify South Beach or Central Prison where the defendant was held when he claimed to have communicated with Cllr. Mulbah, witness Bropleh said he could not do same saying “without certainty, reason being I would need to countercheck with my head of network group.”
The witness said he wanted to countercheck with his head of network group on grounds that South Beach was not identified as a site on the document presented by Lonestar MTN yesterday, which was marked by the court. Upon such response, the defense counsel rested with the witness.
Earlier, one of state rebuttal witnesses, Police Assistant Commissioner Alfred Quire, insisted yesterday that at every stage of the investigation, defendants investigated by his team were represented by lawyers Attorneys Arthur T. Johnson, Amos Kollie and Swahillo Sesay.
Contrary to the testimonies made by the defendants, the state witness insisted that every statement obtained from them during the investigation was done voluntarily with the knowledge and consent of their legal counsels.
“And for my part, those that were investigated by me were defendants Neyzee Barway, Morris K. Cole, Stephen Gloto, Isaac Tanyon Prince Youty, James Cooper, Moses Barway, Emmanuel Saymah, Alfred Bobby James, Jr., and Ophoree Diah,” witness Quire testified, claiming that Attys. Arthur Johnson and Swahillo Sesay refused to sign the statements made by their clients on grounds that what their colleague Atty. Amos Kollie had signed during the probe would surpassed the rest.
He named other defendants who, he said, were investigated by another team of investigators to include Jacob Saylee, Emmanuel Pewee, Timonthy Barlee, Fred Chede, and Junior.
“Yes, Atty. Amos Kollie signed some statements, while you (Atty. Arthur Johnson) and Atty. Swahillo Sesay refused to sign since Atty. Amos Kollie signed some of the statements. But according to you, the lead lawyer signed the statements and you and Swahillo refused to sign,” the witness said.
But when quizzed further by the defense as to why he included in his police investigative report such observation that the defendants’ lawyers refused to sign their statements, he said “It had nothing to do with the police investigative report.” He said the lawyers had insisted that it was their tradition, thus, they could not affix their signatures.
“I have been in the service for the past 34 years. When I am writing my investigative report, we don’t necessarily have to put counsels that are representing parties. That’s not part of the police guide,” witness Quire argued.