Prosecution’s first witness D. Blamo Kofa, says a defense counsel deliberately misrepresented his statement in the over US$800,000 economic sabotage case involving former National Port Authority managing director Matilda Parker and her comptroller, Mrs. Christina Kpabar-Paelay, suggesting that the lawyer has an ethical duty to be truthful and say the facts or quote him correctly.
Ms. Parker was replaced as former Managing Director of the National Port Authority or NPA by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf after being indicted along with her comptroller Mrs. Paelay and their contractor Deneah Martin Flomo over claims that two contracts worth more than US$800,000 awarded the contractor were never implemented.
On the verge of the end of nearly a month-long direct and cross examination on the witness stand that began mid-December 2015, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission or LACC chief investigator Mr. Kofa said on Monday, 11 January to defense question that at no point in time did he say “the monies” were returned to the defendants in 2014.
Instead, Kofa clarified that he did say that Mr. Deneah Martin Flomo, who has been nolleprosequi to serve as state witness, told the LACC investigation that every time the defendants paid check in his name … and in some instances he was escorted to the bank by Madam Paelay.
The witness said further that Mr. Flomo told the investigation that shortly after leaving the bank, he turned the money over to the defendants, saying the records of the Criminal Court “C” on the first day of his testimony will reaffirm this.
“… This is deliberate misrepresentation of my statement made in open court and spread on record,” he said, stressing the lawyer has an ethical duty to be truthful and say the facts “or quote me correctly.”
He concluded by re-emphasizing that “the monies were returned immediately after leaving the bank,” following which defense counsels rested cross examination with the witness.
During a brief re-direct examination with prosecution yesterday before being queried by jurors and the court, witness Kofa said the date appearing on the upper page of the investigative report reflects the time the LACC … submitted its report to the Justice Ministry for action as provided for in the Act creating the LACC.
He said the Ministry, following review of the report and in keeping with its responsibilities assigned to it by law, asked the investigation to provide some information it felt was important for their prosecutorial purpose.
As such, Mr. Kofa said the investigation then proceeded to gather the information needed since the case was already strong and the evidence overwhelming. However, he noted the investigation did not change the date on the cover page, as it clearly stated the dates on which interviewee were interviewed and the summary of each interview reflected in the report.
Kofa added that it is this updated version of the report that he testified to before presiding Criminal Court “C” Judge A. Blamo Dixon and jury.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Jonathan Browne