By: R. Joyclyn Wea |
As long lies the presiding Judge of Criminal Court “C” Peter Gbeneweleh has ended long standing legal battle between Government and some past and current members of the National Legislature as well as public officials.
Judge Gbeneweleh in his forty counts verdict on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 declared the eight indictees to include: former House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, H. Varney Sherman, Richard Tolbert, E. C. B. Jones, Sen. Morris Saytumah, Christopher Onamauga, Eugene and Shannoh, and Willie Belleh as free men after Government Lawyers failed to defend its claimed of corrupt malpractices against the indictees.
The Judge asserted that the testimonies presented in Court by prosecution witnesses were all based on hears say and not facts.
Former House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, H. Varney Sherman, Richard Tolbert, E. C. B. Jones, Sen. Morris Saytumah, Christopher Onamauga, Eugene and Shannoh, and Willie Belleh were indicted in 2016 by the Government of Liberia through the Grand Jury of Montserrado County after allegedly attempting to change the PPCC Act of 2015 and the Mineral Development Law as well as other Investment Laws of Liberia in favor of a British Company Sable Mining for the Wologisi mountain.
They were jointly charged with multiple offenses ranging from bribery, criminal facilitation, criminal conspiracy, and criminal solicitation, after allegedly receiving US$950,000 dollars from the company.
Judge Gbeneweleh further maintained government did not prove the allegation of bribery, criminal facilitation, criminal conspiracy, criminal solicitation as contained in its indictment, noting that the burden of prove rest upon the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubts the allegation contained in its indictment something which the Government failed to do.
“Their constitutional and statutory rights are hereby restored with immediate effect,” Presiding Judge Gbeneweleh.
The Judge further took into consideration inconsistencies in the testimonies provided by prosecution witnesses on the cross.
The court also took in to account section 75 of the draft PPCC and Enacted law which government relied on in her indictment and argument before the court.
The court noted that section 75 was included in both the draft PPCC Act and Enacted law as compared to claimed government lawyers that the section 75 was included only in the enacted law to favor the company and part of the draft bill.
Meanwhile, the ruling which was due for 2PM July 30, 2019 was delay for over 2 hours with the judge finally coming in and appealing to the parties for such delay nothing that something beyond his control was responsible for such delay.