LIBERIA: Ex-Minister Threatens Law Suit Against Canadian Investor

Former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Eugene Shannon, has threatened legal action against a Canadian investor for accusing former and current officials of the Ministry of being corrupt.

He said investor Leonard Len Lindstrom will be held accountable in a court of law to prove the “false allegation” levied against former officials of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, which includes himself.

According to the Liberia News Agency, Dr. Shannon made the threat at a news conference held in Monrovia during the week.

Shannon said he got in contact with Mr. Lindstrom in Liberia in 2006 at the time he was Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, through a Liberian preacher, Rev. James Arku.

He said Mr. Lindstrom applied for ten mineral reconnaissance licenses, covering approximately 22,000 square kilometers, to search for gold and diamond deposits in several parts of Liberia and was granted all of the licenses without hindrance.

Dr. Shannon explained that the new mineral and mining laws approved in 2000 interposes no restriction on the number of mineral reconnaissance licenses or exploration licenses a company can acquire, except that each license could not exceed 1,000 square kilometers.

He said during that time only few companies were willing to invest in the Liberian mineral sector and encumbered exploration.

Dr. Shannon pointed that by then, exploration records showed that Liberty Group of Companies owned by Lindstrom had six exploration licenses under its mineral title.

But on January 5 this year, Lindstrom released a book titled: “Corruption 101”, in which he chronicled alleged corruption in the Liberian government.

Five days later, the Supreme Court of Liberia ruled in favor of the Canadian investor in a lawsuit he filed against the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy in 2010.

Lindstrom sued the ministry for illegally dispossessing him of land for which he had acquired exploration licenses and reassigning it to other investors.

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