(LINA) – The Management of Sime Darby Oil Palm Plantation Liberia (SDPL) has been charged with contempt by the House of Representatives for deliberately refusing to provide a clear explanation to the body on recent alleged manhandling of a Liberian on the premises of the entity.
Recently, a viral social media video showed a Liberian identified as John Davies being subjected to torture and excruciating treatments by security officers of the Sime Darby plantation for allegedly stealing palm nuts.
The video drew huge public outcry and criticism with many calling on the government and rights groups to intervene by investigating the company which has also in time past being accused of bad labor practices and gross human rights violations.
Having being summoned by the House of Representatives, the management of the Plantation on Thursday, could not give a clear account of the incidence as the Company’s General Manager David Parker, failed on several counts to give a clear picture of the incident when asked by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers.
Parker, who denied that the men who allegedly committed the act as seen in the video were in the employ of Sime Darby, told the House Plenary that the Company will not condone any form of violence or brutality against anyone, even if the person is caught in the act of stealing.
Parker claimed that the Liberia National Police was in the process of undertaking a full scale investigation and as such he could not speak any further on the matter on grounds that further testimony from him could prejudice ongoing investigation.
Although members of the House tried to convince the Sime Darby manager that the LNP and the House investigations were separate ones and he can only refuse to provide information if the case was before the court, Parker remained tight-lips to the displeasure of members of the House.
In the midst of the defiance from Parker, the House reverted to an Executive Session following which a motion was made in which the Company management was charge with contempt.
Sime Darby, according to the motion, is expected to reappear before the House Plenary next week Tuesday with all those serving in managerial positions to answer to the charge of contempt placed on the company.