Liberia: Court Drops Charges against 4 Employees of Coca-Cola Factory in US$1M Lawsuit

Cocca-Cola said the four had connived and conspired with criminal intent to steal and misapply its proceeds generated from sales in the tone of US$1,882,464.85

Monrovia – Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge J. Boima Kontoe has dropped charges against four former Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company’s (LCCBC) employees. The four were taken to court on charges of “misapplication of entrusted property, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation.”

Report by Augustine T. Tweh 00231775524647 / [email protected]

George Paye, Emmanuel Tayler, Sam Oyee and Tonia Kparteh were acquitted of the charges on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

According to the indictment, they were accused by the company of conniving and conspiring with criminal intent to steal and misapply the company’s proceeds generated from sales in the tone of US$1,882,464.85 during the period between January 1, 2010 up to November 30, 2010.

During the trial of the case, they were found guilty of the charges by the Grand Jurors of Montserrado County when they were indicted.

But in Judge Kontoe’s ruling, the charges were dismissed against them base on the company’s failure to provide evidence against them during the trial of the case.

“This court notes that in the prosecution’s submission of February 27, 2019 is evidence of prosecution’s incapability and inability to proceed to trial due to lack of evidence and therefore prayed the court to dismiss the indictment without prejudice to the state,” excerpt of the ruling.

Chapter 18, section 18.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law provides for the dismissal of a complaint or an indictment for failure to proceed if the defendant is not tried in two successful terms of court after the finding of an indictment.

“Given the nine-year history of the pendency of this case before this court and the first, second, third trial records of this case, this court holds that prosecution has not shown good cause but had rather shown levity in this matter to the detriment of the defendants who have being under the burden of an indictment.” Ruling adds: “Wherefore and in view of the factual circumstances narrated herein and the law relied upon, the indictment against the herein defendants is hereby dismissed without prejudice against the state, meaning that the state may exercise its right to reinstitute a new criminal proceeding against the defendants if it determines the need to do so.”