Normal court activities were yesterday interrupted at the Temple of Justice after it emerged that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, and Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County, two of the nation’s most powerful politicians, were turned over to Criminal Court C and expected to stand trial for their alleged involvement in the Global Witness alleged bribery scandal.Also arraigned in Criminal Court C in connection with the Global Witness allegations were Ernest C.B. Jones, Former Deputy Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), and one Christopher Onanuga. They are all expected to stand trial for their alleged involvement in a Global Witness report that linked them to the alleged US$950,000 bribery scandal.Global Witness is a United Kingdom-based environment and transparency watchdog, which alleged that Cllr. Sherman, with the support of Sable Mining, issued US$950,000 to former and present government officials to change the Public Procurement Concession and Commission Law in order to award the Wologizi Mountain located in Voinjama District, Lofa County, to Sable Mining Company.The Liberian government has charged them with bribery, economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, solicitation and facilitation. Senator Sherman and Speaker Tyler had earlier refused to submit to the Cllr. Fonati Koffa task force established by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to probe the allegations. Senator Sherman is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that has oversight on all government business, especially those with legal implications.He is also the chairman of the ruling Unity Party (UP) on whose ticket Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was twice elected President of Liberia. Senator Sherman was arrested early Wednesday morning around 5:30 a.m. at his Congo Town residence, where his indictment was served. He signed the court documents and subsequently agreed to travel with the court officers to the Temple of Justice.Sherman’s arrest came a day after his lawyers and prosecutors completed their final arguments as to whether or not the court should allow four banks to make public his banking transaction from January 2010 to September 2010, which ruling is pending for Monday, May 29.Besides Senator Sherman, E.C.B. Jones and Onanuga were both arrested at about 5:45 a.m., at separate locations in Monrovia, where they were served with similar indictments, before agreeing to be escorted by court officers to the Temple of Justice.For Speaker Tyler, he personally drove to the Temple of Justice at about 12:30 p.m., where court officers managed to arrest him and handed him the indictment, which he signed. However, the accused were allowed to return home, after two separate bonds to the tune of US$1,500,000 and US$150,000 were respectively posted for them by two insurance companies.The US$1,500,000 was secured by the Omega Insurance Company for Sherman, Jones and Onanuga, and the US$150,000 was posted on behalf of Speaker Tyler by Sky Insurance Company.The accused were later released following hours of closed door discussions with their legal counsels and Judge Emery Paye in his Chambers yesterday.Immediately following their release, dozens of people among whom were executives of the ruling Unity Party, who had trooped outside of the courtroom yesterday, were openly heard chanting, “We are going to resist any action to take our chairman to prison, because he has done nothing wrong to deserve such punishment.”Meanwhile, other were heard shouting, “Rogue! Rogue! Rogue! Take those criminals to jail.”Earlier, UP vice chairman for political affairs, Dr. Isaac Manneh, in a conversation with the Daily Observer, expressed disappointment over the arrest of his chairman, but said, “The party will take a decision on the matter today.”“This is a court matter and I am very careful to make a definite decision for now, because the court is the right place for this issue,” Dr. Manneh noted.The four count indictment, drawn by the Grand Jury for Montserrado County, alleges that during the period of 2010 to 2011, as a team through various communications and each of them being strategically placed in various positions in government, with the support of Sable Mining, criminally strategized and intentionally requested and was given more than US$900,000 to perform their official duties.The document further alleges that codefendant Jones, being LMN Deputy Minister at that time, requested and received US$75,000 for conducting the smooth passage of the amended PPCC Law containing the provision for the Ministry to have the power to declare a concession area a non-bidding area, which is Article 75 of the amended PPCC Act, so as to facilitate the awarding of the concession agreement on the Wologizi Mountain to Sable Mining.The court record also alleged that the defendants jointly and severally demanded compensation for the performance of their official duties, hence the crime of bribery.It also stated that the defendants used their offices to effect the objective of their plan, which was to alter the PPCC Law and did succeed in having the law changed to give the Ministry the power to declare an area a non-bidding area as reflected in the PPCC Article.“The act of the defendants were carried out in concert and with the full knowledge of every defendant; so as not to get caught in their acts, were always covering up one conduct which constitutes a crime, and any one or more of such persons does an act of effect the objective of the conspiracy,” the document claims.The document states that the acts of the defendants were well calculated into a scheme for the purpose of generating interest for themselves rather than the citizenry.“That the diversion of the law to suit the defendants’ intent and the demand and receipt of compensation for official duties was intended to strangulate the government economically,” the court records allege. “The defendants, with the full knowledge of Varney Sherman, were threading a dangerous path to obstruct every effort to retrieve credible records and interactions with persons who were part of the conspiracy to send and receive cash for the achievement of the objectives.”According to the indictment, the codefendants during the period aided each other knowing that such assistance was for the purpose of committing a crime.“Codefendant Sherman and Sable Mining provided the funding while Jones, Onanuga and Tyler requested and received the value for the conduct of official duties,” the document concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A father of four was hauled before the courts last week after he was accused of hitting his 10-year-old son to his head with a piece of pipe.Rudolph Lyken stood before Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman and denied the charge that was made out against him when it was read.The 40-year-old man is accused of unlawfully and maliciously wounding the lad on October 10, 2018 at their D’Urban Street, Werk-en-Rust home.The court heard that on the day in question, the boy was dealt one lash to his head by the defendant after he refused to carry out an order.He was subsequently taken to a city hospital, where he was treated for the injuries he sustained and sent away.Lyken, in his defence, told the court that he never intended to hit the child to his head. He noted that he instructed the boy to carry out an order which he refused.“I never really wanted to hit him in his head; I talked to him before. After I lash him, I went to him and told him ‘you see how you mek I hit you, you have to listen’,” he said.The man further informed the court that he was the sole breadwinner for himself and children, who resided with him.Police Prosecutor Dinero Jones made no objections to bail being granted to the single father.Magistrate Latchman granted Lyken his pre-trial liberty in the sum of $80,000, and adjourned the matter until November 2, 2018.
0Shares0000Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring Liverpool’s third goal in their Premier League match against Burnley at Anfield © AFP / Paul ELLISLiverpool, United Kingdom, Mar 10 – Jurgen Klopp warned title rivals Manchester City that Liverpool will not give up their title bid quietly after a 4-2 victory over Burnley cut Pep Guardiola’s lead at the top of the Premier League to a single point.Liverpool responded impressively to City’s win against Watford on Saturday, rallying strongly after falling behind to a controversial opening goal from Burnley, with two goals each from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. And the German manager, whose side visit Bayern Munich in their Champions League last-16 second leg tie on Wednesday, insisted that the performance demonstrated his team’s ability to handle the pressure.“The message from today is that nobody gets rid of us,” said Klopp. “We had the perfect mixture of fighting the opponent and playing football.“All we have to do is make sure that we stay in this really interesting competition on top of the table. We have no problem with confidence, we’re in a good moment.”The victory was also a triumph for Adam Lallana, the England midfielder whose inclusion in the starting line-up was not universally popular among Liverpool supporters but who turned in a man-of-the-match display.Lallana changed the momentum of the game just before the half-hour, charging down a poor clearance from Phil Bardsley and seeing Mohamed Salah tackled by Charlie Taylor before the ball broke kindly to Mane, who curled in from 15 yards.“It is not only Adam but it was clear, if he can play like he trained, then he will help us a lot and that is exactly how it happened,” said Klopp. “He is always good on the ball but he is an aggressive boy. The counter press is a game-changer. It didn’t look really promising until he jumped in so well done, really pleased for him.”It was a strong response from Liverpool after they fell behind against Sean Dyche’s struggling team in the sixth minute.Defender Joel Matip needlessly conceded a corner which Ashley Westwood curled directly into the Liverpool goal with keeper Alisson Becker protesting furiously that he had been impeded, earning a booking for sprinting 40 yards to remonstrate with referee Andre Marriner.“The early goal we conceded, usually it would have been disallowed, if the ref had a view,” said Klopp. “I saw the first minute it is a foul, you cannot treat the goalie like this. The good thing is it is early, we had time to turn it around.”– Mental strength –This was a real test of Liverpool’s mental fortitude after a run that had seen them draw five of their previous seven games in the league and Champions League but a test they passed impressively.They trailed for just 13 minutes, equalising with a flowing move started when Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum exchanged passes, the former crossed and, after Tom Heaton and James Tarkowski missed the ball, Firmino was able to tap into an open net.After taking a 2-1 lead into the interval, courtesy of Mane’s goal, Liverpool effectively killed off the game midway through the second half.Salah broke clear and was poised to shoot when Taylor made a superb tackle which, unfortunately for the visitors, left the loose ball sitting up nicely for Firmino to drive it into an open goal.There was late anxiety after Johann Berg Gudmundsson made it 3-2 with an injury-time consolation after a knock-down in the area from Burnley substitute Peter Crouch.But with virtually the last kick of the game, in the 93rd minute, Mane chased a long Daniel Sturridge through ball, rounded Heaton and completed the victory, kicking into the open goal. 0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)