Grand Cape Mount County Senator Cllr. Varney Sherman, currently on U.S. travel ban, has sharply fired at the United State Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, for what he terms, wrongly imposing economic and financial sanctions against him based on allegations.
The United States government imposed multiple charges against the Liberian senator, ranging from bribery of multi judges with trial for a 2010 bribery scheme and an undisclosed conflict of interest with a judge, who ultimately returned a not guilty verdict in July 2019, runtime payment to judges to decide cases in favor of his clients, and, the alleged facilitation of payments to Liberian politicians to support impeachment of a judge who has ruled against him.
Cllr. Sherman counters for the first time since the action was late 2020 that these allegations against him are false, baseless and that due process was never accorded to him.
He details that he started practicing law since February, 1980 and that no time during his days in court did he ever attempt to bribe a judge to favor his clients or to win a case, something, he terms as totally far from the realities.
According to him, from former Liberian Chief Justice Emmanuel Gbalazeh to Chea Cheapoo, to the James Nagbe, and the late Chief Johnnie Lewis’ Supreme Court benches and the current bench of His Honor, Francis Kpokpor, he and his law firm, Sherman-Sherman Law firm had never bribed any judge or facilitated removal of a judge from the bench.
“Please be informed that more than 90 percent of my clients are foreign-owned corporations and foreign non-governmental organizations; very, very few are Lebanese or Lebanese nationals and even fewer are Liberian citizens. My firm is a corporal law firm; we engage primarily in transaction law, not litigation. Every retainer agreement signed with us to provide legal services or make any form of representation provides that our services shall comply with the US foreign corruption practices Act and the OECD convention on the corruption of foreign government officials,” he says.
Cllr. Sherman maintains that with high standard of practice by his law firm, it is not possible to engage into bribery and routine of payments to judges to decide cases. He has filed a former complaint before the Liberian Senate to look into the ban imposed on him by the U.S. Government.
Senate President Pro-tempore Albert Chie, disclosed here that his leadership has received a formal complaint from Senator Cllr. Varney Sherman, on the recent United States government’s sanction placed on him (Sherman) for alleged bribery.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, January 12, at the Capitol Building, Pro-tempore Chie said Senator Varney’s communication will be placed on the senate’s floor for deliberation and subsequent actions.
Late 2020, the United States of America, through its Treasury Department, placed Global Magnitsky designations on several individuals in Africa and Asia, including Liberian Senator, Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman, on grounds that he allegedly facilitated bribery in the judiciary and that, in one instance, he allegedly bribed his colleagues “to support impeachment of a judge who has ruled against him.”
In a release, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it is targeting corrupt actors and their networks across several countries in Africa and Asia, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and targets perpetrators of corruption and serious human rights abuse.
“On International Anti-Corruption Day, Treasury remains fully committed to imposing costs on those who facilitate corruption at the expense of the people,” said Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich in the release. Editing by Jonathan Browne