Sable Mining Case: Senator Sherman Says Mail Was Illegally Hacked
Monrovia – Cllr. Varney Sherman and seven other indictees in the ongoing Sable Mining bribery case at Criminal Court “C” has filed a bill of information citing that the Global Witness hacked his email accounts to get information for prosecution.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo, [email protected]
The bill information which is in possession of FrontPageAfrica revealed that the documents obtained by Global Witness, the whistle blower, were illegal obtained and should therefore not be admitted into evidence by the court.
“Informants says that the informants intend to object to all the spreadsheets and emails for reason that both Global Witness and Respondents obtained the spreadsheets and emails by hacking the email accounts of both Sherman & Sherman and Sable Mining Africa Limited.
They defined hack, referencing the Black Law Dictionary, as “To surreptitiously break into the computer, network, servers, or database of another person or organization.”
They argued that the use of the word ‘surreptitiously’ connotes that hacking is illegal in a case of Liberia. And the purpose of this principle of law is to protect the privacy of the individual,” the bill of information noted.
Lawyers representing Cllr. Sherman and co-defendants cited Article 16 of the Liberian Constitution which states that the “No person shall be subjected to interference with his privacy of person, home or correspondence except by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.”
They averred that the spreadsheet and emails since it was obtained through a violation of privacy, such should not be admissible in the case adding that it should be disallowed.
The bill of information prayed the court to order the state to submit the list of witnesses and what they are expected to say.
“In the absence of such full disclosure, informants’ due process rights are materially adversely diminished as to render as to render the entire proceeding unfair and improperly conducted. So informants pray your honor to suspend the pre-trial conference until such time that respondents has complied with this requirement of the law,” the defendants’ lawyers said.
The defendants were represented in court by Atty. Albert Sims, Cllr. G. Moses Paegar, among others.
Recently the court granted the State’s request to amend the indictment against Cllr. Varney Sherman, Sherman and Sherman Inc., E.C.B. Jones, Christopher Onanuga, Alex Tyler and Sable Mining.
The amendment attempts to clearly define how the acts economic sabotage, bribery, criminal conspiracy, solicitation and facilitation.
The amendment was upheld because, according to the court, the burden of proof lies on the state.