Liberia: Court Releases Three CBL Employees, Ordered to Surrender Traveling Documents

Monrovia — After a week of incarceration at the Monrovia central prison, Criminal Court 'C' has released the remaining three of the five former and current employees of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).

On Monday March 11, Defendants Dorbor Hagba and Joseph Dennis were released, while Richard Walker was released on bail Tuesday, March 12.

Walker could not be released on Monday's night because his family failed to submit his travel documents to the court.

They were released following a US$ 60, 000 bond each filed by their respective lawyers through the Accident casualty and Insurance company.

Earlier, Charles Sirleaf and Milton Weeks were released on Friday, March 8 after the Judge of Criminal Court 'C' Boima Kontoe approved the bond filed by their respective lawyers. Defendant Sirleaf filed an insurance bond while Weeks filed a real property bond, which secured their respective release.

According to Judge Kontoe, Weeks and Sirleaf have been ordered not to leave the bailiwick of Montserrado County without the Court's consent. The court also ordered the two Defendants to report to the court twice every two weeks.

They have surrender their travel documents to the court on grounds that they do not leave the country.

Although the two defendants are out of prison, state lawyers claim on Saturday that they are yet to receive a copy of the bond.

State prosecutors are expected to cite Chapter 15.86 of the penal law of Liberia in order to challenge the bond.

The law states that a person charged under this sub-chapter- F- shall be required to post a cash bond in the amount equivalent to the amount charged, but shall not be less than the amount of the fine of US$10,000 as prescribed therein.

Solicitor General Daku Mulbah said the state is prepared to see the bond and if it is not supported by law, it will be challenged.

"If the bond is filed, It is in the purview of the prosecution to assess the bond that is filed. Any bond that is filed that does not meet up to the law will be challenged," said Cllr. Mulbah.

Prior to Sirleaf's release, a motion was filed by lawyers representing him (Sirleaf) who cited medical conditions of "Severe Osteoarthritis of the Right Shoulder, Right Lobar Pneumonia R/O Lung Cancer, Alcoholic Liver Disease, Gout and Systemic Hypotension with hypercholesterolemia which makes his continued confinement at the Monrovia Central Prison to pose risk or death to him or serious permanent injury to his health".

Mr. Sirleaf's lawyers annexed to his three counts motion, a medical report over the signature of Eli M. Kiswahili, Medical Doctor, bearing license #664.

Mr. Sirleaf was scheduled to be released Thursday but due to the late filing by his lawyers, prosecutors did not have sufficient time to file a written resistance.

Prosecutors, while opting not to object to Mr. Sirleaf's lawyers' request, noted that because the trial ought to be carried on for an accused person who is well and or alive it would not at this stage interpose objections to "Compassionate Release" request.

Judge Kontoe in his ruling granted the condition compassionate release of Mr. Sirleaf set several conditions.

Judge Kontoe: "That the Passport/Passports and/or all travel document in the hand of the Movant be surrendered to this honorable court; That upon the release of the Movant from the Monrovia Central Prison, be placed under house of arrest under the supervision of this honorable court; That the movant be allowed to be visited by only close family members, his doctor and his lawyer and that while under house arrest the Movant be made to be executed and report to this honorable court."

However, Judge Kontoe said hearing the case depends solely on the defendants.

He explained: "The indictment was filed during February term of court. If they ask for the advancement of the case it can be docketed during this term if not it will be next term, so, it is the defendant that can ask for it."

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