The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Gov’t.Fails To Prove Case Against Sherman, Others …Judge Declares “Not Guilty” Verdict

The long-standing legal battle between the government and some individuals, said to be involved with the Sable Mining issue, has ended with a ‘Not Guilty Verdict’ thereby restoring all their statutory and constitutional rights with immediate effect.
The Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice yesterday was a scene of mix feelings regarding the government’s stance on fighting corruption in the country when Judge Peter Gbeneweleh’s 40-count verdict contained that the government has failed to prove the allegations of all the charges meted against the defendants as contained in its indictment.
The grand jury at the temple of Justice had charged all eight individuals including the former House Speaker, J. Alex Tyler; H. Varney Sherman; Richard Tolbert; E. C. B. Jones; Morris Saytumah; Christopher Onauauga; Eugene Shannoh and Willie Belleh jointly with multiple offences ranging from bribery, Economic Sabotage, Criminal Facilitation, Criminal Conspiracy, and Criminal Solicitation for allegedly receiving US$950,000 from the Sable Mining Company to alter a section of the PPCC Act.
However with the burden of proof resting upon the prosecution, Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge, Peter Gbeneweleh, declared all eight defendants ‘Not guilty’ on grounds that prosecution’s oral and documentary evidence did not corroborate with the testimonies presented in Court.
In his judgment, the court realized and noted that the contagious Section 75 was included in both the draft PPCC Act and Enacted Law unlike the claims by the State lawyers that that section was included to favor the company for which they prayed the court to charge the defendants with the crime of Bribery.
In his three-hour judgment handed down through a bench trial yesterday, Judge Gbenweleh described the email evidence as all ‘Hearsays’ because the prosecution also failed to disprove any form of hacking as alleged by the defense team and noticed that the prosecution’s investigation had even altered the emails claimed to have been owned by defendant Varney Sherman.
Judge Gbeneweleh blamed the government lawyers for being unable to have defended their own claims of corrupt malpractices against the defendants thereby labeling the bank records submitted before the court as being ‘vague’ as well as inconsistencies in the rebuttal witnesses’ testimonies while on the cross.
Messers Tyler, Sherman, Tolbert, Jones, Saytumah, Onauauga, Shannoh and Belleh were indicted since 2016 by the Government of Liberia and have been in court for allegedly changing the PPCC Act of 2015 and the Mineral Development Law as well as other Investment Laws of Liberia in order to sell the Wologisi Mountain to a British Company named Sable Mining.

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