By Grace Q. Bryant
Monrovia, Liberia-Feb. 20, 2020 –Lawyers representing the Government of Liberia have begun parading their witnesses in the case involving the former Minister of National Defense, Brownie Samukai and others.
Yesterday, the court listened to the testimony of Augustine Mehn of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission as prosecution’s first witness who stated that he had no idea that the former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and current President George Weah ever promising to refund the money in question intended for the welfare of the national army.
The trial continues today as the first witness is still on the witness stand and is still being crossed examined. Prosecution is expected bring more witnesses.
However, the Judge of Criminal Court ‘C’ Yamie Gbeisay Tuesday told the parties that if the government lawyers delay hearings into the ongoing case, they will be punished.
Judge Gbeisay warned that frivolous excuses are attempts that the court will not for the last time bend over and backward to accommodate the state and that the prosecution will be seriously reprimanded to include a maximum fine to be impose together with imprisonment.
Judge Gbeisay’s action was prompted when the prosecution prayed the court for continuance, on grounds that it has gathered its witness and is processing the presentation of those witnesses in court which would require a study and conscious process.
Prosecution’s request for continuance provided it the time to process witnesses to include but not limited to the names contained in the indictment and pointed out that the request was not a deliberate attempt to delay the trial but in good faith and allows the state witnesses whose testimonies are very germane to this trial.
It can be recalled that defendant Samukai, Joseph P. Johnson, Nyumah Dorkor and others were charged with the crimes of Theft of Property, Criminal Conspiracy, Economic Sabotage, Misuse of Public Money and Money Laundering.
1st Witness Testifies In Samukai, Others Trial …As Judge Threatens Gov’t Lawyers
By Grace Q. Bryant