Former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai along with his two deputies finally appeared before the Civil Law Court last Friday to receive their indictment.
The main purpose of the session was to inform the defendants about all the legal crimes levied against them by the states, such as theft of property, criminal conspiracy, economic sabotage, misuse of public money and money laundering, which are all billable offense, a violation of chapter 10, subsection "D", section 10.4(1) (2) (3) (4) of the new penal code of Liberia.
Former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, Joseph Johnson, Deputy Minister For Administration, and Nyumah Dorkor, Controller General were indicted by the government of Liberia on multiple offenses ranging from theft of property, criminal conspiracy, economic sabotage, misuse of public money and money laundering in the tone of one million nine hundred forty-three thousand, nine hundred and seventy one and ninety nine cent (US$1, 943,971.99) United States dollar.
The court acknowledges receipt of the indictment drawn up against the defendants in the alleged amount of USD$1,259,462.99. The indictment which is dated October 9, 2019 and the August Term of Court will commence on November 11, 2019.
With this the defendants may elect to pray the court for continuance if they so desire and have the right to venue change of the case to another court of concurrence jurisdiction, as well as right to speedy trial and if they are not comfortable with any judge, they may asked the judge to recues himself from the case.
The defendants during their Friday appearance proffered an insurance bond to guarantee or prevent them from going to prison. The court is yet to entertained argument into the valid criminal appearance bond filed by the defendants due to the absent of government lawyers from Friday's appearance in court.
It can be recalled that on July 1, 2009, the Ministry of Defense opened an account named and styled "AFL PENSION ACCOUNT"at Eco-Bank Liberia limited with account number 1092-522-22-19. The said account was based upon salaries deductions and established to provide benefits to wounded AFL soldiers and also to families of dead AFL soldiers as well as to supplement pension package to personnel of AFL upon retirement from active service.
The indictment further mentioned that Samukai with criminal intent authorized and cosigned defendant Dorkor, to withdraw and transferred US$852,860 dollars and expended same on actives that were already provided for under the national budget as AFL operational fund.
In addition, to the theft, co-defendant Samukai, illegal paid US$50,00.00 as death benefits to the families of the late general Abdurrahman, who did not contribute anything to the fund, while serving the AFL as Chief of staff.
Meanwhile, the defendants were represented in court by Cllr. G. Wiefueh Alfred Saye, Cllr. J. Augustine Toe and Cllr. Ruth Jappah. TNR