‘Ulterior Motives’ – Indicted Richard Tolbert Says Sad Day For Liberia
Monrovia – Dr. Richard V. Tolbert, the latest indictee of the Presidential Task Force set up to probe allegations of bribery in the Global Witness report against several former and present officials of government, says his indictment is a sad day for the country.
Dr. Tolbert, a former chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), has been indicted by the Presidential Task Force alongside two foreign nationals, Andrew Grooves and Klaus Piprek.
The two foreign nationals are out of the country but Cllr. Fonati Koffa, has said the taskforce will seek the help of Interpol to arrest the duo for prosecution in Liberia.
The Grand Jury of Montserrado County, sitting in its May 2016 Term of Court, has charged Dr. Tolbert with the crimes of economic sabotage, money laundering, criminal conspiracy, facilitation and solicitation.
The charges allege that during the period 2010-2011 received the amount of US $50,000 from Cllr. Varney Sherman while serving as chairman of the NIC. He received ‘consulting fees’ as his share for the role he reportedly played in the altering of the Public Procurement and Commission Act.
An additional US$20,000 was allegedly received by the Invincible Ellen (IE) Football Club when Tolbert served as President.
“The Grand Jury for Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia upon their oath do hereby find more probably than not that the defendant Richard Tolbert committed the crime of bribery, a felony of the second degree,” states the indictment.
On Thursday, June 9, 2016, Cllr. Fonati Koffa, head of the Presidential Task Force, announced the indictment of Dr. Tolbert. But the former head of the NIC has dismissed it as just a mere allegation which will be dealt with in court.
Cllr. Koffa said his appearance at the Friday court was to file a criminal appearance bond of $100,000 via the International Insurance of Africa.
“My indictment was prepared at 4 p.m. Thursday and there was (an) attempt last night to have me arrested and incarcerated, but since I was born I have never spent a single day in prison.”
“We will try to know what’s behind this whole thing,” said Tolbert. He claims that the indictment against him is intended to intimidate and embarrass him
The former NIC boss has been indicted alongside House Speaker Alex Tyler and Grand Cape-Mount Senator Varney Sherman by the Special Presidential Task Force set up by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to probe those accused of receiving bribes in the Global Witness 2016 Report on Liberia.
The report alleges that several current and former government officials, including lawmakers, received bribes to change the PPCC Act to award a concession agreement to the British mining company Sable.
Kennedy l. Yangian [email protected]