By: R. Joyclyn Wea
MONROVIA May 20–The son of former president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Charles Sirleaf has been vindicated by court following his detention in the missing of Liberian dollars L$16B, leaving his former boss, Milton Weeks un-cleared.
The verdict was handed down on Tuesday by Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay of the Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice.
Mr. Sirleaf served as Deputy Executive Governor for Operations at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). He assumed power after his boss, Milton Weeks resigned early March 2019. Sirelaf was indicted along with other former officials, including Mr. Milton A. Weeks, Executive Governor, Richard Walker, Director for Operations, Dorbor Hagba, Director for Finance Department and Mr. Joseph Dennis, Deputy Director for Internal Audit.
They were charged for printing over L$16Billion Liberian dollars without the approval of the Legislature.
The Solicitor Sayma Cyrennius Cephus before the court’s verdict, said “the five defendants knowingly, deliberately and intentionally collude and conspired with the wicked intent to launder money and sabotage the Liberian economy by unauthorizingly printing excess Liberian Dollar banknotes amounting to L$2,645,000,000 and also unauthorizingly paid and caused to be paid and did pay the amount of U$835,367.72 to co-defendant Crane Currency of Sweden for the amount printed.”
The indictment at the time said, from the investigation conducted independently by the Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) and Kroll Associates from the US, it was established that on May 17, 2016, Co-defendant Sirleaf while serving as Acting Executive Governor of CBL made a request thru former.
The Government used Chapter 18, section 18.1 of the criminal procedure law as it reliance for dismissing the matter against these four individuals who were equally indicted with Milton Weeks in 2019 over charges of money laundering, Economic sabotage, theft of property, and criminal conspiracy.
The statue states that “the prosecuting Attorney by leaf of Court can filed a motion to dismiss the criminal indictment against any defendant.
Handling down verdict Tuesday, May 19, 2020, Judge Gbeisay said while the Court realize that the case is of public interest, the alleged millions of dollars involve is for the Liberian people and they are eager to see its outcome, the it (Court) cannot produce evidence for the state even if it were glaring.
Judge Gbeisay mentioned that in administering justice, the first duty of The court of competent jurisdiction is not only to be neutral and impartial, but the court that is the reliance from the judge sitting therein must be seen and viewed through the eye of the public by hearing natural, in other words, the co-neutrality of the court should be enjoyed by other parties in this case.
The state which charged and indicted the defendants and having elected to and Nolle Prosequoi the charges against them, the court says it is left with no other alternative order then to grant the Government request.
“While this Court [realizes] that this case is public interest, the alleged millions of dollars [involved] is for the Liberian People, and as such they are eager to see its outcome, this court cannot produce evidence for the State even if it were glaring,” Judge Gbeisay rules
“The prosecution’s motion to Nolle Prosequoi is therefore hereby granted and the indictment against the Co-Defendants is hereby dismissed and the writ of Next Public’s is hereby quashed and nullified and the defendants’ criminal appearance bonds are hereby orders returned to them with immediate effects.
But his former boss, Weeks case continues. The Supreme Court mandated mandate to the Criminal Court “C,” ordering the lower court to commerce jurisdiction over defendant Milton Weeks’ case.
This was due to Weeks’ earlier acceptance of a ruling by a lower court judge, Yussif D. Kaba from hearing a petition filed by all five defendants.
It is not known when Weeks case will resume. TNR