Fonati Koffa challenges Sherman
The former head of the Special presidential Task Force set up to investigate the bribery case has challenged Cllr. Varney Sherman to produce any document where he Fonati Koffa received US$4.5m to prosecute the case.
Cllr. Fonate Koffa made the statement at a press conference on Thursday at the capital building.
Cllr.Koffa was appointed by former president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to head the special Presidential Task Force to carry out investigation of the bribery case.
After investigation, the case was taken to court and a grand jury indicted Cllr. Sherman.
Koffa said that he did not make up these allegations, rather, Global Witness which were supported by pieces of evidence ranging from email trails, check deposits records among others.
Sherman told open court that Koffa, who is now representative of Grand Kru county, received US$4.5M from the Liberian government to prosecute them. Sherman, Alex Tyler, former speaker of parliament and others were accused by Global Witness of bribery.
In 2016 Global Witness released a report of bribery of over US$950.00(Nine hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars) and other suspicious payments by UK mining firm Sable Mining and its Liberian lawyer, Varney Sherman. Based on the report, the government of madam Sirleaf promised to investigate the case to its logical end.
By then, Cllr. Sherman was the chairman of madam Ellen Johnson Sirelaf’s ruling party, Unity Party(UP).
The payments were made for Cllr. Sherman to influence lawmakers and some government officials to enable Sable Mining company acquire an Iron Ore concession-Wologizi, the largest mountain in the country.Sherman served as lawyer for Sable Mining Company.
Cllr. Koffa challenged Cllr. Sherman, now senator of Grand Cape Mount county to come out with any document against him. Koffa said to the best of his knowledge, an amount around US$1.1M was given him by the Liberian government to effect the prosecution.
“I challenge him to produce any document to show that I went and received such money,” he said.
Koffa said “Cllr Sherman’s testimonies made in open court were all false, full of innuendo, full of perjuries and are defamatory.”
Koffa revealed that while serving as head of the Task force, some the best investigators in Liberia whom he worked with, some Liberians attempted to bribe them in the tune of US$250,000(Two hundred and fifty thousand united States dollars).
“But the investigators refused it and asked those who brought it to leave or they would be arrested for attempted bribery.”
He called on some lawyers, especially at the ministry of Justice to be professionals in carrying out their work.
Cllr. Varney Sherman
But sources close to the case, have expressed fear that the judge needed to be professional. That the way in which the judge has been proceeding with the case calls for some concerns.
Koffa said, he would not allow for Cllr Sherman to spread lies. “We will not permit the lies and deception of Cllr. Varney Sherman to undermine the credibility of persons with credible credentials to be tainted. This case grew up of a Global Witness report alleging systematic allegations of bribery on now defendants including Cllr. Varney Sherman,” he said.
He continued: “We never knew about this Sable Mining Case until it was duly reported but contrary to claims now that we are which hunting him. Cllr. Sherman knew, so then, how can he say the special task force was about to witch hunt him and others?”
Cllr. Sherman was unable to acquire the concession for Sable Mining Company. TNR