22 November 2012

Liberia: Pastor On Trial for U.S. One Miliion Theft, Others Charges

The US$1M criminal trial of the authorized representative of ABC International-Liberia, Rev. Matthew Sekueh, began on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at the Criminal Court "C" at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia. Rev. Sekueh stands accused of the crimes of theft of property, misapplication of entrusted property and criminal conspiracy in the amount of US$1M.

Rev. Sekueh pleaded not guilty when the indictment was read to him on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, thus joining issue with the state. ABC International is an organization based in Iceland that was alleged to have sent the US$1M to Rev. Sekueh as its representative to buy land and build a church, school and clinic in Liberia.

Testifying under the direct-examination from the prosecution, Gudrum Margret Palsdottir, who served as prosecution's first witness, told the court that the defendant sent an E-mail to her, dated January 10, 2007 for permission to preserve a 20-arce of land for ABC International-Liberia. Witness Palsdottir informed the court that she received another E-mail from defendant Sekueh, which was dated on January 11, 2007, asking her for permission to allow him [Sekueh] travel to Iceland and discuss with the ABC International Board about his vision and plan.

The witness said she received another E-mail from Rev. Sekueh on January 12, 2007, informing her that he had approved the By-Law and Constitution of ABC International-Liberia and the accreditation of the organization was still in process. Still testifying under the direct-examination from the prosecuting lawyer, Cllr. Theophilius C. Gould, witness Palsdottir said on January 13, 2007, she received another E-mail from Rev. Sekueh, thanking the ABC International for permission to secure additional 27acres of land.

The witness further explained to the court that on January 15, 2007, Rev. Sekueh sent another E-mail to her, informing her that ABC International should change the flight schedule for a planned visit to Liberia so as to allow him have accreditation. On January 26, 2007, she added that Rev. Sekueh e-mailed her for the registration of ABC Children Aid.

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