26 December 2012

Liberia: After Found Guilty - Pastor to Be Sentenced for U.S.$1 Million Theft

Verdict in a long property case involving Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh and one Margret at the Criminal Court "C" is expected soon. After a lengthy period of deliberations, jury at Criminal Court "C" last Saturday unanimously convicted Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh and his wife Plenseh of property theft, and diverting more than US$.1M meant for the construction of a church into their personal account, charges the defendants earlier pleaded innocent.

During previous evidence provided by Pastor Sarkeuh, he provided photos and documents proving his innocence and provided documents of audits of the property worth more than a million United States Dollars which contradicted the amount USD1M as stated.

The jurors said in open court that they were convinced that with the evidence given in court by state prosecutors, the accused were guilty of the crime but lawyers took exception to the verdict and said they would wait for Presiding Judge, Peter W. Gbeneweleh's judgment that is expected in five days' time before announcing an appeal to the Supreme Court.

In March of this year, Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh and wife were indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County on three counts: misapplication of entrusted property, criminal conspiracy and theft of property.

On the indictment, ABC International and AIEM had acquired 52.76 acres of land which Pastor Mathew Sarkeuh sold to ABC and said deed was transferred to ABC, and further claimed that the couple received additional US$.32, 000 for 72.6 acres of land from ABC International as well as US$.21, 000 which was unaccountable for, and also US$.6, 000 was provided to the defendants for the preparation and processing of the Article of Incorporation for ABC-Children Liberia.

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