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Politics News

Tyler, others subpoenaed in CBL case

Former House Speaker Atty. J. Alex Tyler, Senate Chair on Banking and Finance Marshall Dennis, Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) , former Legal Counsel, Joseph K. Jallah, Senate Secretary Nanborlor F. Singbeh and others have been subpoenaed in the CBL billions of dollars economic sabotage case, based on prosecution’s request.

Other subpoenaed officials include Representative Cllr. Kanie Wesso and the Director of Internal Audit Division at the Central Bank of Liberia.

Criminal Court “C” Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay ordered the officials’ subpoena Tuesday, 7 July following testimony by second State witness Amos T. Goba, Analyst in the Department of Analysis, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Last Thursday, 2 July witness Goba indicated that investigators interviewed and took statements from former House Speaker Tyler, Senator Dennis, Elsie Dossen Bardio, Kollie Tamba, Milton Weeks and several others.

According to him, the investigation established that L$13,004,750,000.00 was printed and shipped, while the bank claimed that only L$10,359,750,000.00 was printed and shipped, giving a variance of L$2,645,000,000.00.

He states that the investigation found communications from the Houses of Representatives and Senate and from former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf addressed to Milton Weeks.

Further, witness Goba says the investigation found a Board Resolution signed by the Board of Governors; a contract; shipping document relating to the shipment to include packing list, bill of living and airway bill.

In granting the prosecution’s request, Judge Gbeisay instructs the clerk of court to issue subpoena ad-testificandum to be served on Tyler, Dennis, and Jallah to appear on Wednesday, 8 July at 9:00 A.M.

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Additionally, the judge orders that a separate writ of subpoena ad – testificandum be served on Cllr. Wesso, Sengbeh and CBL Director of Internal Audit Division to appear on 13 July at 9:00 A.M to testify in the proceedings.

Former CBL Executive Governor Milton A. Weeks and David Fahart, Elsie Dossen Bardio and Kollie Tamba are standing trial for multiple charges including theft and economic sabotage of billions of Liberian dollars printed and shipped to Liberia, following a series of mass protests that prompted local and international investigation into claims that the money went missing.

The fifth defendant Melisa A. Emeh is said to be out of the bailiwick of Liberia and has not been brought to court, therefore the court has granted prosecution’s request to grant her a separate trial so as to enable the four other defendants that are available to get speedy trial.

All the defendants on trial have pleaded not guilty for charges of theft of property; economic sabotage; fraud on the internal revenue of Liberia; misuse of public money, property or record; theft or illegal disbursement of public money; criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation.

This third indictment in the case did not include former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s son Charles E. Sirleaf who served as Deputy CBL Governor for Operations when the financial scandal emerged at the bank, because he was nolle prosequi with prejudice in May this year.

Besides Mr. Sirleaf, the prosecution here also entered a nolle prosequi (dropped charges) in favor of defendants Richard H. Walker, Dorbor M. Hagba and Joseph Dennis.

The government here indicted the officials in 2019 for their alleged roles in the misapplication of billions of Liberian Dollars printed and shipped to Liberia to replace old local currency after a series of mass protests led local and international institutions to investigate a claim that the money had gone missing.

The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to willfully conceal the actual amount in circulation for the purpose of committing theft, depriving the Government of Liberia of its resources.

In his testimony Tuesday, 7 July, witness Goba said the records available to the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) revealed that instead of L$10.3 billion as the amount printed and shipped to Liberia, L$13.3 plus billion was printed, shipped and received by the bank.

From the record reviewed, witness Goba testifies further that it showed that defendant Weeks took charge of the bank in May of 2016, meaning that he received the L$10 billion plus as alleged in the indictment.

Additionally, he says the investigation established that defendants David Fahart, Elsie Dossen Bardio and Kollie Tamba criminally played in this entire episode of the missing L$16 billion dollars. By Winston W. Parley

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