27 February 2013

Liberia: Minister 'Lied' Under Oath

Gender and Development Minister Julia Duncan-Cassell nearly fell into similar problem like Montserrado County Superintendent Grace Kpaan and Acting Monrovia City Mayor Mary Broh with the House of Representatives when she told a lie under oath that she did not make inciting statements at the Monrovia Central Prison.

Minster Duncan-Cassell, who headed a group of women at the Monrovia Central Prison last Friday, condemned the representatives for ordering the detention of Superintendent Kpaan. She accused the lawmakers of being interested in their personal wellbeing.

The Gender Minister speaking on a local television accused the representatives of paying less attention to corruption against that august body, but were only interested in jailing people.

She questioned the legal authority of the House of Representatives describing their actions as unconstitutional.

However, when the representatives asked her about the inciting comments when she appeared Tuesday, Minister Duncan-Cassell denied ever making such statement, thus prompting a playback of the television recording in the chambers.

As she saw the television recording, she pleaded with the lawmakers for pardon. Following the Minister's request for forgiveness, the House of Representatives imposed a fine of L$4,999.99 for her inciting statement she made against them.

Minister Duncan-Cassell expressed regrets for her action and begged for mercy.

She admitted that her statement was emotional although she had earlier denied making the statement. "I have always been a law abiding citizen and will do nothing to disrespect you," Cassell asserted.

She has been ordered to pay the fine in government's revenue within three days and also publish her letter of apology in three newspapers for the same period.

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