The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: 'I'm Innocent'

Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh has produced hundreds of photos proving him not guilty of tampering with US$1m disputed Ministry's property on the Robertsfield Highway. Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh produced photos of meetings he held in Iceland, the United States of America and Liberia on different occasions and dong different businesses.

Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh; in his testimony also produced photo of one Margret who accused him of inviting a journalist to interview him which lasted for over an hour, and after the television journalist left, another journalist from a newspaper came to interview him which lasted until 8 p.m. in March 2007.

The Pastor has been accused of turning the ABC Mission property into his personal use and the case has been taken to court.

Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh who took the stand on the second day of the case last Friday at the Civil Law Court said the next morning, Margret took him to a Christian television station called Omega along with her brother for another interview that lasted for about 45minutes of air time at the station and from there they went to another Christian radio station called Radio Lending in Iceland and he was offered air time and after that they returned to Margret's home.

Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh said upon their arrival at Margret's home, Margret's daughter purchased a newspaper article published in Iceland with his photos printed on the Front page which Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh said was also on file to be displayed in court.

During the hearing Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh said that he, Rev. Sarkeuh did not take the 72 acres of the Ministry's land for his personal use and said the Ministry in question belongs to ABC-Liberia Children Aid and was not personally turned into his use as claimed by the prosecution team of Margret, Rev. Sarkeuh told the court.

He said on one of his visits to Iceland, Margret took him to her house to meet with one of the Board Members who turned out to be her husband to share the vision with him and she also called her brother and he came with his wife to be part of the meeting and said the Master Plan of the vision booklet of the campus which he said will also be displayed in court was also drawn and given to them.

Rev. Sarkeuh said, the Board Members viewed the Master Plan Booklet and at this point and Margret became the spokesperson for those that she considered as confidants as members of Directors that he met at ABC International.

He said Margret told him that ABC International was not a Foundation but that it was a charitable organization which depends solely on donor's funding when he has given the urgent needs of the 0rganization which was the land that they had engaged to build a mission, and that there was few more months left to forfeit the land and have it sold to another customer. At that point, Margret reemphasized that they do not have extra money to give.

Rev. Sarkeuh said he was told by Margret to find any means get to people but declined and told her that all he needed was the opportunity to connect with people and the vision, and that morning, Margret told him that the Minister of Foreign Affairs was her friend. She said that she would call her and see if he could go and talk to her to help. Rev. Sarkeuh said documents including photos will be displayed in court as evidence. He stated further that after he and Margret met the Minister, they did not have any meeting with ABC International Board.

In his more than 45 minutes testimony, Rev. Mathew concluded that in Margret's car she considered him a blessing to her and said that there is possibility that more funds are set to come through ABC International to AIEM.

"She suggested to me that if I will agree to change the name of AIEM to ABC Children AID. She did not say clearly whether ABC Liberia or ABC International; she just said ABC Aid, and I said the decision concerning that will be rendered or made by the Board of AIEM in Liberia and when that is done, I will contact her, and the case is still in court pending final verdict by the court," Rev. Sarkeuh disclosed.

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