Liberia: Govt Detests Weeks' Acquittal ... Vows to Challenge Judge Ruling

27 August 2020
The NEWS (Monrovia)

Less than 24 hours after the Presiding Judge of Criminal Court 'C' at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia acquitted former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and board members, the government through Solicitor General Cllr. Sayma Syrennius Cephus has vowed to contest the judge's ruling.

Speaking Wednesday, August 26, 2020, when he appeared on OK FM in Monrovia, Cllr. Cephus said Judge Yamie Gbeisay proceeded wrongly to have based his ruling on the Kroll report.

According to him, during the trial, no party including prosecution and defense referred the Kroll report; as such, the Judge should not have based his ruling on the report.

He claimed that 75 percent of Judge Gbeisay's ruling was based on Kroll report when the entity in the very report made a disclaimer that its report cannot be used any litigation without further investigation.

Cllr. Cephus said prosecution has remedy under the law to challenge the judge ruling.

He disclosed that the government has already begun exploring every remedy available to it and will act shortly.

The Solicitor General said during the trial, prosecution produced evidence and witnesses to every count in the indictment referred to by the Judge.

According to him, prosecution produced two kinds of witnesses including direct and corroborative witnesses that testified on its behalf.

Cllr. Cephus said during the trial, prosecution proved that the printing of more than L$10 billion was done with authorization from the legislature through joint resolution.

However, he said though the Judge acknowledged that the printing of the mentioned amount was not authorized by the legislature, but he said it helps to improve the economy.

Cllr. Cephus wondered why the Judge will claim that the printing of the money improved the economy when before the money was printed, the exchange rate was 80 but soon jumped to 200 after the printing.

He further said prosecution proved her case that the ex-CBL officials took on to themselves the authority given to the legislature by the constitution regarding authorization of printing money, something that is criminal, yet the Judge did not see anything wrong with it; but said they can be punished through the Code of Conduct.

The tough-talking Solicitor General, however, assured that the ex-CBL officials will not go unpunished because everything will be done for them to account for their action.

Cllr. Cephus said there are provisions in the Code of Conduct that allows people properties to be seized.

It can be recalled that Judge Gbeisay Wednesday acquitted Ex-CBL Executive Governor Milton Weeks and three ex-board members including David M. Farhart, Elsie Dossen-Badio and Kollie Tamba of multiple crimes.

The defendants were charged with Economic Sabotage, Fraud on the Internal Revenue Misuse of Public Money, Prop or Records, Theft /Illegal Disbursement of Public Money, Criminal Conspiracy, Criminal Facilitation and Theft of Property.

But Judge Gbeisay said prosecution failed to prove beyond all reasonable doubts that the defendants printed excess Liberian dollar banknotes without the authorization of the Legislature.

He contended that prosecution was misled by PIT report to have indicted the defendants.

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