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US$20,000 fake money damaged in court

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn Liberia-Sheriff testifies

A subpoenaed court official has testified in the ongoing Liberia Bank for development and Investment (LBDI) theft case at the Criminal Court “C” that part of the US$20,000 counterfeit  banknotes submitted at the Monrovia City Court by police were damaged while in the lower court’s custody.

Captain Julius Swen, who is Monrovia City Court Sheriff at the Temple of Justice,  said Tuesday that at the time the City Court was operating in 2010 at a courtroom now being occupied by the Probate Court, they “placed those notes” in the cupboard of a container and some were damaged.

But repeated attempt by defense counsels to additionally establish from the witness how much of the counterfeit notes were “mutilated” or damaged failed to yield responses, as state lawyers objected.

The case at the Criminal Court “C” involves defendant Margretta Dorbor, who is indicted for allegedly stealing US$26,767 plus L$284,890 from the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment or LBDI, with additional claims of having US$20,000 counterfeits at the bank’s Gardnerville branch in 2010.

The defendant, a bank teller, has pleaded not guilty to the indictment containing multiple charges of theft of property, forgery and counterfeiting – a felony of the second degree.

Ahead of Sheriff Swen’s appearance on the witness stand yesterday, the City Court’s Clerk had also said he could not track whether or not the original instrument sought by prosecutors was missing because the City Court underwent several transfers from one courtroom to another around 2010.

By Winston W. Parley

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