Temple Of Justice
Court “C” Decline To Rescind Decision On Email, Spreadsheet
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, April 4 (LINA) – Criminal Court “C” Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay Tuesday dismissed prosecution motion to rescind his recent decision for the temporary marking of email and spreadsheets evidence adduced by the state.
Judge Gbeisay’s decision was rendered after a pre-trial conference during which defense counsels objected to the admission into evidence of the spreadsheets and emails.
Ruling on said objection, Judge Gbeisay said that in keeping with law the documents would only be marked temporarily until testified to by its giver, Heine Van Niekerk.
Not being satisfied with the judge’s ruling on the matter, prosecution on March 28 filed a 10-count motion praying the court to rescind its judgment.
In court Tuesday, Judge Gbeisay reaffirmed his ruling which, he said, is the court’s consideration of the controlling statute and the Constitution of Liberia.
“The court hereby declines to disturb same and by that movant’s (the State) motion to rescind the court judgment on objector’s objection to the emails and spreadsheets is hereby dismissed and denied,” the Court “C” Judge ruled.
This ruling means that until Heine Van Niekerk can testify to the pieces of evidence provided by him, they remain temporarily marked and in the event where the state fails to bring him to testify in open court, the emails and spreadsheets will be treated as if they never appeared on the records of the court.
Meanwhile, the court has granted the 10-day adjournment request of the state to allow for the processing and arrival of the witness in the country.
According to prosecution, its request is based on the fact that the court sees witness Heine Van Niekerk to be germane and determinant to the prosecution of the case.
They emphasized that the analysis of the court ruling suggests that no amount of witness order than those specified by the court will be sufficient to clarify the mind of the court as to the commission of the crimes charged.
It stressed that said witness being out of the country, they will make use of the requested time to bring or have them interview him by Skype or other means for the purpose of giving the clarity that the court desires.
The case began May 2016 when a Global Witness report alleged that some current and former officials of the Liberian Government took bribes amounting to US$950,000 to amend Section 75 of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission Act to favor Sable Mining.
Former House of Representative Speaker J. Alex Tyler, Senators H. Varney G. Sherman and Morris Saytumah; Eugene Shannon, Willie Belleh, Christopher Onanuga, E.C.B. Jones and Richard Tolbert were charged by Grand Jurors of Montserrado County for receiving bribes, Criminal Facilitation, Criminal Solicitation, Criminal Conspiracy and Economic Sabotage.
Owing to the granting of the 10-day adjournment, the case has been placed on hold until the expiration of the requested days and matter suspended.