Liberia: Court Subpoena Top AFL Officials to Testify In Former Defense Minister Economic Sabotage Case

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Monrovia – The Judge of Criminal Court ‘C’, Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay has subpoenaed the management of Eco Bank Liberia Limited and three top officials of the Ministry of National Defense and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to testify against former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai and his two former deputies – Joseph P. Johnson and J. Nyumah Dorkor.

Those subpoenaed are General Geraldine J. George, Deputy Chief of Staff of the AFL; Captain Nathaniel Waka, Director of Peacekeeping of the MOD and General Prince C. Johnson, Chief of Staff of the AFL.

The trio was summoned based on prosecution’s submission to the court, requesting that the officials serve as state witnesses. This means they will testify against the former Minister and his two former deputies.

The Management of Eco Bank Liberia is expected to appear on Wednesday, February 26, while the officials are to appear on Friday, February 21 at 9:00AM to provide oral and documentary evidence at the trial. 

The AFL officials were linked to the former defense minister case after the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) declared them as persons of interest during its course of investigation of the case.

Requested the State: “Prosecution requests your Honor to issue subpoena Duce Tecum on the Management of Eco Bank Liberia to produce the bank (Eco Bank) statements, requisition emanating from the Ministry of National Defense account#:10929522222019 titled: “AFL Pension Funds” which was later changed to “AFL Welfare and Morale Account” account#:0013174717655601 covering the period July 2009 up to and including November 3, 2017 including the account opening/know your customer.” 

State lawyers continue: “Prosecution also requests for the MOD regarding tax clearance or funds request transferred to the MOD’s account for AFL operations, to include all cheques that were written on said account during the period mentioned. 

“Counsel also requests your honor to cause the clerk of this court to issue subpoena Ad-Testificadum on General Geraldine J. George, Deputy chief of Staff, Cpt. Nathaniel Waka, Director of Peacekeeping and General Prince C. Johnson, Chief of Staff to appear and testify for and on behalf of the State regarding the AFL internal reconciliation investigation that was done by the AFL in respect of the pension account domiciled by Eco Bank”.

In his ruling, Judge Gbeisay granted the prosecution’s submission and ordered the Clerk of court to summon Eco Bank and the officials to testify in the case.

Said the Judge: “The Clerk is hereby instructed to issue Subpoena Ad Testificadum Tecum to be served on the Chief of Staff of the AFL General Prince C. Johnson, General Geraldine J. George and Captain Waka, requiring all of them to appear on tomorrow same being the 21st of February 2020 at 9: 00 am to testify to these proceedings as per the prosecution’s request.”

Judge Gbeisay continued: “The Clerk is further ordered to subpoena the management of Eco Bank to produce all relevant documents including bank statements voucher of the AFL requirement and or morale account from the date of establishment of said account up to and including November 3, 2017. The said management is to appear with said documents on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 9:00am”.

The former Defense Minister and his two deputies are charged with the commission of the crimes of economic sabotage, misuse of public money, money laundering, criminal conspiracy and theft of property.

They were indicted on October 9, 2019 by the grand jury of Montserrado County for the alleged commission of the crimes and have pleaded not guilty. 

On Wednesday, February 19, State prosecutors presented their first witness in the trial and also presented copies of documentary evidence to the court to prove their case against the three former Defense Ministry officials

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