Jurors in the criminal case involving former Police Director Beatrice Munah Sieh-Browne and four others Thursday brought down a unanimous guilty verdict against the five defendants.
However, the guilty verdict was beclouded with suspicion after defense lawyers took exception.
The defense lawyers rejected the verdict after it was noticed that the jurors requested for additional verdict forms while in their deliberation room although they were given two of the forms earlier.
The court did not hesitate but gave additional four verdict forms as requested by the empanel jury.
When the jurors returned from their deliberation room, they provided one form on which their guilty verdict was written.
But the defense lawyers requested the court to ask the jurors why they sent for additional forms when only one form contained their guilty verdict.
The jurors told the court that they made mistakes on the first form therefore they needed additional forms.
Not satisfied with the jurors' answer, the defense lawyers requested that the form on which the mistakes were made be produced.
Interestingly, when the jurors produced the form, it was tore into pieces thereby creating suspicion as to why they tore the form if it contained honest error.
As a result, Judge Yussif Kaba ordered an investigation into the matter to establish what was written on the destroyed form.
Earlier, as the Clerk of the court read the jurors' unanimous guilty verdict, the defendants became mute as they looked at the jurors in a state of bewilderment.
According to our reporter, as the verdict was read, Judge Kaba's countenance changed. The court became uncontrollable as the audience was seeing discussing the jurors' decision and the destroyed form.
The jurors were later taken to their deliberation room while prosecuting and defense councils tried to put the destroyed form together to establish what was written on it.
Madam Sieh-Browne and others are being accused of stealing over US$199,000 intended to buy uniforms and other accessories for the Liberia National Police.
The five criminal suspects were indicted by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), after the Justice Ministry said it could not proceed with the case because of lack of sufficient evidence to prosecute.
The defendants are charged with theft of property, criminal facilitation, criminal conspiracy and economic sabotage.
But the five defendants have since pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them by LACC.