Assistant Justice Minister for Litigation Cllr. Wesseh A. Wesseh terms as interference, Solicitor General Cllr. Saymah Syrenius Cephus’ comment that an alleged theft case being pursued by two Czech Republican brothers against several accused had been withdrawn by the Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission (LACC), despite an indictment drawn already.
Cllr. Wesseh told journalists at his office in Sinkor Monday, 22 June that Cllr. Cephus should have nothing to do with the matter because he has recused himself from the trial, saying
“Well, uh, that is interference of the case, but I was in Lofa County over the weekend …, once you’re in Lofa you will not monitor the stations except someone call you. So I cannot speak to the fact,” Cllr. Wesseh says.
“But as far [as] I’m concerned, the Solicitor General, the Minister of Justice/Attorney General of Liberia and the County Attorney for Montserrado County, three of them are recused from this case,” he adds.
Several persons including Senate Secretary Nanborlor F. Singbeh have been indicted here for multiple charges for allegedly dubbing two Czech Republican brothers Pavel and Martin Miloschewsky of US$5,062,419.10 under the pretense of establishing a rock crushing company MHM Eko – Liberia in which the victims retained the largest share of 70 percent.
The indictment against NanborlorSingbeh and the rest of the defendants was issued on 8 June by Criminal Court “C,” following which the LACC in a communication dated 10 June 2020 informed the Ministry of Justice that it was retrieving cases it forwarded to the ministry, including Singbeh’s case.
The indictment accuses the defendants, along with former National Investment Commission (NIC) Executive Director George Wisner of allegedly conspiring to commit economic sabotage in violation of the Penal Law. They face charges of economic sabotage, theft of property, forgery and criminal conspiracy.
Speaking Monday, Cllr. Wesseh said he believes that someone is misinterpreting the law, noting that the Justice Ministry has taken substantial stance by reviewing the witnesses before drawing indictment after receiving the case from LACC.
Dismissing Cllr. Cephus’ claim that the matter is a case between two corporate partners, Cllr. Wesseh notes that if an investor brings US$5m in the country and it gets stolen, it amounts to theft against the public interest and therefore requires government’s intervention.
“Even though it derived from a commercial transaction, but the issue is that the money … was allegedly in the bank and the money got missing. So who do we hold?” he asks. Liberia’s Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean, his deputy Solicitor General Cllr. Saymah Syrenius Cephas and Montserrado County Attorney Cllr. Edwin K. Martin recused themselves from the economic sabotage trial predicated upon the fact that they represented the private prosecutor in private practice.
According to Cllr. Wesseh, at the end of January this year, the case was turned over to his office to continue with trial after Dean, Cephus and Martin’s recusal, saying prosecution already had a copy of the indictment by February Term of Court.
He argues that substantial action was taken in the case after LACC presented it to the Ministry of Justice, contending that the issue of LACC is moot. There have been several persons ordered to be arrested for their alleged roles in this case, including defendants Othello Z.B. Karr, KarelSocher, Ales Sranmek, Sherman Longan, Jan Holask, Barry F. Tequah and Ousman Fofana.
Others include Gloria Cain, Sylvester Selvkpoh, Patrick Saah Siaphia, Mulbah Kenneh and Patrick Siaphe. Prosecution claims that defendant Singbeh used his official position to conspire and connive with Gloria Caine, George Wisner, Othello Z.B. Karr, Prince A. Saysay and others to obtain faked and fraudulent “Investment Incentives” for duty free privileges.
The defendants allegedly obtained the faked “investment Incentives” for duty free privileges in spite of the fact that MHM Eko – Liberia was due to engage in crushed rocks and related businesses with US$7,616,152 capital investment.
According to the indictment, defendant Singbeh opened two bogus accounts in the name of MHM Eko-Liberia, conspired with KarelSochor, Ales Sramek, Peter Pesek, Jan Holaseh and Gloria Caine by convincing the Czech nationals to transfer US$2,495,109 and US$102,000,000 to pay custom duties on equipment imported, employees’ salaries and other running cost.
The indictment notes that the total value of properties including cash and equipment stolen directly from the Czech nationals by the defendants is estimated at about US$5,062,419.10. British national Hans Armstrong has been the Attorney-In-Fact of the two Czech brothers at the rock crushing company that was situated in Margibi County.
By Winston W. Parley