Former Central Bank Executive Governor Milton Weeks has been left hanging at the Supreme awaiting a separate hearing, while Liberian prosecutors on Friday May 15, filed a nolle prosequi (drop charges against) former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s son Charles E. Sirleaf “with prejudice,” and nolle prosequi three others without prejudice.
But the mystery surrounding the “missing” $16 billion local currency which prompted their indictment for economic sabotage and other crimes, still lingers on.
Deputy Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Governor Mr. Sirleaf, Dorbor Hagba, Richard Walker and Joseph Dennis were nolle prosequi while being jointly tried, but former CBL Executive Governor Weeks who has a matter pending before the Supreme Court from the same case and therefore charges were not drop against him.
“At this stage, counsel for the State begs to inform Your Honor that it has filed with this Court a Motion for Nolle Prosequi in favor of the following Defendants: 1) Charles E. Sirleaf, 2) Dorbor Hagba, 3) Richard Walker and 4) Joseph Dennis,” the prosecution announced at Criminal Court “C” Friday, 15 May at the Temple of Justice.
Further, the prosecution informs the court that it will want to modify the motion that is pending before the court and that a nolle prosequi is entered in favor of defendant Sirleaf “with prejudice to the State” and in favor of Hagba, Walker and Dennis “without prejudice to the State.”
Following the State’s decision, the defense team says the right and authority of the State to enter Nolle Prosequi in favor of the criminal defendants pending before the court is provided for by Chapter 18 of the Criminal Procedure Law, adding that it therefore interposes no objection to the State’s decision.
Meanwhile Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay says the court [has] not been afforded the opportunity to review the Motion for Nolle Prosequi which was said to be filed on Wednesday, 13 May, adding that he reserves ruling, pending notice of assignment.
Speaking with journalists after the state informed the court that it was dropping charges against him and others, Mr. Sirleaf acknowledged God as his vindicator, saying “our president believes in the rule of law, and justice will be served.”
Mr. Sirleaf then CBL’s Deputy Governor for Operations and his boss Mr. Weeks were jointly indicted along with other junior officials- CBL’s Director of Finance Department Dorbor M. Hagba and CBL’s Deputy Director for Internal Audit Joseph Dennis for economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, criminal solicitation and money laundering.
The defendants including Richard Walker were indicted on 4 March 2019 to give account for their alleged roles in the “missing”LD$16bn scandal that rocked the country throughout 2018 and sparked local and international investigation following protests here.
The court in August last year ordered the defendants to file LD$1,058,000,000 bonds each, which when combined totaled LD$5,290,000,000 after a new indictment for money laundering had been added to the previous charges.
By Winston W. Parley