Temple Of Justice
Second State Witness Testifies In Sable Mining ‘Bribery’ Case
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, April 1 (LINA) – Prosecution second witness in the ongoing Sable Mining alleged bribery case, D. Blamo Koffa, has affirmed that the defendants committed the crimes as charged.
Defendants Varney Sherman, Christopher Onanuga, E.C.B. Junes, Richard
Tolbert, J. Alex Tyler, Morris Saytumah, Willie Belleh, and Eugene Shannon, are charged with bribery, economic sabotage, criminal facilitation, criminal solicitation and criminal conspiracy.
They are said to have received money to alter Article 75 of the 2005 Public Procurement and Concessions Commission law in 2010 to grant the U.K-based Sable Mining company access to the iron ore rich Wologizie Mountain in Lofa County.
Taking the witness stand Thursday, the former chief investigator of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Corruption Commission (LACC) told the court that H. Varney Sherman laundered money through the account of Sherman and Sherman Law Firm to bribe the current and former officials of government.
He said a report captioned: “FOR EYES ONLY - ONE COPY ONLY”, was Cllr. Varney Sherman’s Financial Report dated 30 June under which the expenditure report regarding funds transferred by Sable Mining Africa to Liberia and showing the illegal payments that were made in addition to other payments.
Koffa’s testimony, which corroborates that of Marc Kollie, the State’s first witness, who also testified that the indicted current and former officials of government individually played their respective roles with the aim of granting their client concession right over one of the nation’s iron ore reserves (Wologisi Mountain) located in Lofa County.
The total amount of bribes and questionable payments from all sources was US$950,000.
Koffa told the court that the acts of the defendants to transfer huge sums of money from one point to another where it will not be noticeable amounted to money laundering.
He also testified about the spreadsheet and account statement all of which he said point to the movement of money from Sable Mining to Cllr. Sherman unto payments made to the defendants as well as a report forwarded to Sable Mining by Cllr. Sherman.
Meanwhile, Central Bank Executive Governor Milton Weeks did not take the witness stand on Thursday, even though he came to court prepared to deliberate on the subpoena document.
He was subpoenaed on Wednesday to, among others, testify to the CBL policy on commercial banks and the safety of customer transaction and account documents.
Governor Weeks is expected to take the witness stand at a later date at the Criminal Court “C”.