26 April 2013

Liberia: Family Witness Suffer Setback in Maritime Trial

Defense rebuttal witness in the ongoing trial of the Liberia Maritime Authority dead cadets case, has contradicted the testimony of complainants rebuttal witness, that Musa Beach can be seen from the downstairs apartment which Matilda Friday once occupied.

Testifying for the Defense Ms Angie Saab informed the court that the apartment building which was the center of conversation testified to by the plaintiff's rebuttal witness Ms. Caroline Woyee, is not located anywhere near Musa Beach and as such there was no way a cleaner in the living room of the downstairs apartment could have been able to truthfully identify anyone or any persons passing before the house let alone the Musa beach

Lawyers defending the Liberia Maritime Authorities shocked the plaintiff lawyers when the last witness testified as to the exact location of her beach front property which is not in the vicinity of the musa beach area as earlier testified to by the rebuttal witness of the plaintiff on Wednesday

Rebuttal witness for Plaintiff Caroline Woyee in her testimony informed the court that she worked as a cleaner on the maritime beach clearing project as a cleaner and sweeper on the beach.

She also informed the court on the cross that she worked simultaneously as a domestic worker in an apartment building for Ms Matilda Friday. Ms Matilda is a tenant in a two story building with four apartment buildings. The apartment building is owned by Ms Angie Saab.

When she took the stand as a rebuttal witness she informed the court contrary to defense claims that the cadets went to the beach everyday for training and swam in the ocean.

She said while she conducted her cleaning up of the living room in Matilda Friday Apartment, she used to see the group of men and the two ladies swim in the ocean and the lagoon respectively.

However the court nearly burst into commotion when lawyers for the plaintiff were jolted from their seats when Ms Angie Saad described the exact location of her house and the number of houses which separated her house in considerable distance from the Musa beach area.

Cllr. Cyril Jones, who led the cross of this sur rebuttal witness, attempted to general the location when Ms Angie Saab responded to a question as to whether she could see "the beach" from her house. She said her property faced the beach.

However the Defense Lawyers were quick to object to the particular question as vague since in fact the location being discussed is Musa's beach and not just the beach.

Following the return to calm and the affirmation of Ms Saab's testimony that there is no way on earth that you can be in the downstairs apartment from her house and see anything or recognize anybody at Musa beach from Angie Saab apartment a fact she says everyone who know the various beaches can attest to.

Following the resting of the witness testimony the defense lawyer, Cllr Musa Dean requested through an application from the court to allow the juror along with the lawyers from both side to visit the house and ascertain the facts in respect to the claims made

His Honor granted the request and instructed the bailiff to accompany the jurors on Thursday morning along with the lawyers from defense and plaintiff to visit the apartment building where Ms Matilda Friday lived during the period under trial and in which Caroline Woyee a cleaner at the residence and Beach waterway project at Maritime is said to have been working.

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