Sable Mining Trial Starts With No Show by Defendants
Monrovia – Barely 10 months following the indictment of several former and present officials of government in the much publicized Sable Mining bribery trial, the case resumed on Monday March 6 the Criminal Court “C”with a no show by the defendants.
Report by Kennedy L. Yangian [email protected]
The lone defendant in court when the case was called for hearing was former House Speaker Alex Tyler but the rest of the defendants, Varney Sherman, E.C.B. Jones, Christopher Onanuga, Wille Belleh, Andrew Groves, Eugene Shannon and Morris Saytumah were all out of the bailwick of the court.
The former Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), Richard Tolbert, who is one of the defendants in the case, showed up late n the yard of the court when the case had already been adjourned by Judge Yamie Gbeisay to be resumed today March 7 at 9 a.m.
Lawyers representing the defendants did not give the court any reason for the absence of their clients, however, Judge Gbeisay frowned on their absence, stating they are prominent citizens of the country and under the law, they were only being accused and not convicted therefore their rights are to be respected by the court.
Judge Gbeisay continued that during trial, defendants are under the obligation to respect the mandate of the court by showing up for trial.
The judge indicated that the defendants’ action, being the first time, must not be repeated or he court would set aside the bail bond and have them arrested ass such wouldn’t be tolerated by the court.
“Meanwhile, all defendants who did not show-up in this court at 9:00 a.m as per the assignment are hereby fine US$200.00 each to be paid on or before the call of the case Tuesday, March 7 hearing at 9:00 a.m.
Failure on their part, the Clerk of this court is hereby ordered to issue a writ of arrest and have them detained until the amount is paid into government revenue,” said Judge Gbeisay who stated that the measure did not include Senator Morris Saytumah who was not served with an assignment from the court .
The defense teams of former NIC boss Tolbert, led by Cllr. Edwin Martin, and that of Senator Varney Sherman, led by Cllr. Emmanuel James took exception to the ruling.