By R. Joyclyn Wea
The case involving five former executives of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) took a different trend on Monday at Criminal Court “C” on the grounds of the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
The alleged L$2billion criminal case took another trend as a result of a motion to recuse or strike filed with the Court over the weekend by Government lawyers against the National Social Security Welfare Corporation (NASSWCORP) and Heritage Partners and Associate Law Firm who are ‘surety’ for Milton Weeks and stood for his release from South Beach.
It can be recalled, NASSCORP boss Dewitt vonBallmoos proffered US$900,000.00 property bond to secure defendant Weeks released from prison, while Lawyers from Heritage are defending Weeks legal interest in the matter before Criminal Court “C”.
The Government of Liberia seven count motions to the court is seeking the cancellation of both NASSCORP boss vonBallmoos and the rescuer of Heritage Law Firm from the proceeding on ground that NASSCORP boss and Heritage Lawyers are on Government payroll and as such; they cannot form part of the trial.
Heritage Partners Associate Law Firm is providing legal services for one of the five indictees Milton Weeks and is at the same time rendering legal service to the Liberia Revenue Authority, a Government institution and as such; prosecution affirmed that the present of the law firm in the proceedings will undermine Government fight against corruption.
Government lawyers explained “Both Heritage and Partner and the criminal appearance bond filed in favor of Milton weeks with title deed in the name of Dewitt vonBallmoos and his wife are conflicted and must be ordered to recuse and stricken from the court record to restore sanity to these proceedings.”
“Movant submits that a conflict of interest exists where a person or organization is involved in the defense or prosecution of multiple interests for financial gains or otherwise, and is seeing serving rival interests for either selfish or political reasons to the injury of others. “According to Government lawyers, the involvement of Heritage law firm and NASSCORP boss is unlawful therefore, they are pleading with that honorable court to exclude them from the trial.
“The participation of heritage and partner in these trials while on the payroll of the LRA is not only double-standard and totally unethical but will materially and adversely affect the interest of Government in that it would amount to government funding the legal services of heritage and partner against itself,” prosecution.
Also arguing, defendant Weeks Lawyer Abraham Sillah said his client bond is sufficient and the surety is legally qualified contrary to prosecution claim.
According to Sillah, the double the game as mentioned in Article 50.9 of the Penal Code which Government is using as reliance is not applicable to the matter.
“Article 50.9 is not applicable in this matter because it is a specific provision created by the legislature to address economic sabotage,” he added.
Cllr. Sillah mentioned that restitution is done after an accuse person is convicted and not before the convention of thes accuse.
During argument into the motion by the court prosecution seem not to know or was probably confuse over the difference between Strikes and recuse as they struggle to defend their motion.
At the same time, Government of Liberia is pushing to legally cancel defendants Charles Sirleaf, Milton Weeks, Dorbor Hagba, Richard walker, and Joseph Dennis bond to have them sever another time at the Monrovia central prison for the alleged misapplication of two hundred thousand United States dollars.
The five former CBL Executives Charles Sirleaf, Milton Weeks, Dorbor Hagba, Richard walker, and Joseph Dennis were indicted by the Gsovernment through the Ministry of Justice during the February term of court for reportedly conspiring with crane currency to print over two billion Liberia dollars which is unaccounted for.