State Lawyers Object Three Years Jail Sentence For Guilty JFK Employees
Monrovia – Ruling on Monday at the Temple of Justice by Criminal Court ”C” Judge Emery Paye to award three years jail sentences to several defendants found guilty in the John F. Kennedy financial scandal that allegedly caused the hospital a loss of over US$300,000,00 has been objected by state lawyers.
The guilty defendants are: Patrick Konowa, Rebeah Arnus of the Finance Section of the hospital, non-employees, Flahn Borbor, Thomas Mezzeh, Benjamin Dargbeh and others.
Co-defendant Rebeah Arnus an IT personnel of the hospital was adjudged guilty for facilitation and sentenced to perform community service for the period of one month under the supervision of the Sheriff of the Criminal Court “C”.
While co-defendant Patrick Konuwa was also adjudged guilty by the court for economic sabotage, theft of property, criminal conspiracy and facilitation and sentenced to three years imprisonment and ordered to restitute the aggregate amount of US$13,323.91 and LD$15,807,916.4 within one year with imprisonment sentence suspended for the period of one year to restitute the amounts and upon his failure to do so he shall be imprisoned in keeping with the law.
Also adjudged guilty for the commission of the crimes of theft of property, criminal conspiracy and facilitation was non-employee Flahn Borbor who was also sentenced to three years and ordered to restitute the amount of US455, 049.28 and LD$1,045,008.00 within one year and failure to do same will lead to his detention for the period of three years.
Another non-employee defendant Thomas Mezzah is also adjudged guilty for the commission of theft of property and sentenced to six months and ordered to restitute the amount of USD$8,525.00 while his imprisonment was suspended for six months to restitute the said amount failure to do same within four months will lead to his imprisonment for six months.
The fourth defendant Benjamin Dargbeh was also adjudged guilty for the commission of theft of property and sentenced to eight months and asked to restitute the amount of US$ 19,218.50 within the said period as failure will lead to his detention for the period indicated.
While the fifth defendant Thomas Telewoyan was adjudged guilty for theft of property and sentenced to four months imprisonment and ordered to restitute the amount of US$3,054.00 within said period and failure to restitute said amount within four months will result to his detention for four months.
However, state lawyers headed by Cllr. Jerry Garlawolo Monday objected to the sentences shortly after the judge’s ruling and announced an appeal to the Supreme Court but the court also rejected the appeal on ground that state lawyers don’t take an appeal.
“We are taking an appeal against the sentences which does not confirm with the law for the crimes charged for which the defendants were found guilty” said a source closed to the prosecution who promised that the state is anticipating filing a writ of mandamus to the Supreme Court to compel the Judge to adhere to the required sentences for the guilty verdict against the defendants.
The same source said that before such sentence is given the judge should have held a sentencing hearing with the parties which the judge also failed to do.
Co-defendants Patrick Konowa, Rabeah Arnus employees working at the Finance Section of the hospital and other non-employees were indicted by the state for multiple criminal offences including economic sabotage in a biggest financial scandal ever to hit the largest referral hospital in the country which has over the years been looming with logistical constraints and were put on trial early this year.
Three of the defendants, Mezzeh, Dargbeh and Telewyan pleaded guilty and pleaded with the court to restitute the money they have reportedly stolen while co-defendants, Konuwa, Arnus and Borbor pleaded not guilty hereby joining issue with the state
But Judge Paye says that the defendants were found guilty because they did not adduce any contrary evidence to refute the charges in the indictment against them.
Meanwhile a 12-member jury of the Criminal Court “C” have brought down a guilty verdict against two employees of the GT Bank who have gone on trial for allegedly taken away US$126,000 of funds belonging to Total Liberia which was brought to the bank for deposit but denied the claim.
However, the Judge is expected to rule and sentence the two defendants on October 3, 2016 at the hour of 2:00 p.m.