Alex Tyler Requests Another Medical Excuse to Travel to Lebanon
Monrovia – The Global Witness bribery scandal case which was set to commence early December may face another blow.
One of those at center of the case, J. Alex Tyler, has requested the court to grant him two weeks travel permission to seek medical treatment in Beirut, Lebanon.
This would be the second time Tyler had requested medical excuse since he was indicted by the Special Presidential Task Force.
The first was in September when he requested the court to grant him one week medical excuse.
According to sources, the court is yet to take a decision on his latest request.
A lawyer who spoke with FrontPageAfrica on anonymity said, “This is purely a delay tactics. When the case first began, when he was on heat at the Legislature, he asked for two weeks medical leave.”
“Now that the court is about to start the trial, he’s asking for another two week?”
In an interview with FrontPageAfrica recently, the head of the Special Presidential Task Force, Cllr. Fonati Koffa, said arrangements had been made for the case to commence December. He added that the Task Force was negotiating with the court to allow cameras during the trial for live streaming and television broadcast.
“That is a part of transparent justice, the jury themselves will be aware that the public is watching, the international community is watching live.”
“When the trial is going on you’ll be able to go on the task force’s website and watch the trial and watch it on national television.
This case is so monumental and important to justice in Liberia that we will be petitioning the court to allow this process,” Cllr. Koffa told FrontPageAfrica.
According to Cllr. Koffa, there has been a change in the trial strategy which was prompted by the fillings of several motions by the first batch of indictees.
This, according him, has delayed the trial.
“We have changed our trial strategy because of the long delay of appeals at the Supreme Court; we are proceeding with those already indicted as soon as the Court comes down.”
“The other group – it is likely that everyone remaining will be indicted. We are convening a grand jury… and we will go to the grand jury and it is likely that the remaining names in the report will be indicted.
“What we are doing as a matter of trial strategy is that the group that would be indicted next term of court will not be tried with this group, they will be tried separately because the problem you run into is once you indict this group they start to file their motions and we will have to go through the same process of delay,” the Presidential taskforce head told FrontPage Africa.
Koffa emphasized that the charges pressed against those named in the report have not been dropped. However, according to him, the prosecution remains open for plea bargains where charges are reduced in exchange for less punishment in exchange of admission of guilt.
“We have talked to the defendants; they’ve not indicated to us that they’re prepared to do that.”
“Whenever they are ready we’re open and ready to talk. But far as we are concerned, we are proceeding with this case on the indictment as charged,” he added.
He added that Sable Mining remains indicted that the evidence against them are consistent, clear and cogent and a mutual legal assistance agreement was being developed to ensure that the British Government assists the Taskforce in bringing the corporation and the named individuals that are not under Liberia’s jurisdiction to justice.
“If you do your research on bribery cases, you will find out that this is one of the few times there is a very excellent paper trail of evidence because you know bribery being a criminal act that involves government officials and sometimes private parties like in the case here is usually not put on paper, there is usually no discoverable email trail, it’s usually by word of mouth. In this case we have more than one material witness and then we have documentary evidence that backs up the testimony,” Koffa averred.