20 December 2013

Liberia: FIB Admits to 'Stealing'

As the pre-trial conference of defendants Ellen K. Corkrum, Musa Bility, Melvin Johnson and the presidents of the First International Bank (FIB) Wolf Sopipe and John Davis of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) continues on Wednesday at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Solicitor-General Cllr. Betty Lamin-Blamo has confirmed the admittance of the FIB to 'stealing' money from the account of the Liberia Airport Authority.

The Solicitor-General of the Republic of Liberia made the disclosure in court on Wednesday when she requested for continuance [meaning to postpone the case] in the hearing of a precarious motion filed by FIB to quash the writ and indictment filed against the bank by the Government of Liberia.

State prosecutor Lamin Blamo told the court that on August 2, 2013, co-defendant FIB filed a manager check in the amount of US$56,750.00, representing restitution of the amount alleged in the indictment that has been criminally taken out of the account of LAA and transferred to Corkrum.

"That upon the filing of this manager check with this Honorable Court, specifically by Cllr. F. Musa Dean, legal counsel for the FIB, approached prosecution with the view of having a pre-bargaining. Now that this motion has been filed, prosecution requests this Honorable Court for 48 hours, since prosecution has been taken by surprise when FIB came begging on its feet," Cllr. Lamin-Blamo informed judge Blamo Dixon hearing the case.

However, Cllr. Theophulius C. Gould, Legal Consultant at the Ministry of Justice told Judge Dixon that the US$56,750 manager check in the possession of the court deem an admission that the co-defendant FIB allegedly helped Corkrum in the transfer of the money.

Cllr. Gould further prayed the court to enter into judgment, along with penalties, holding FIB guilty of Theft of Property, Misapplication of Entrusted Property, Economic Sabotage and Criminal Conspiracy.

It can be recalled that on December 10, 2013, FIB by and though its legal counsels filed a four-count motion to quash the writ and indictment against Wolf Sopipe.

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