Indicted LoneStar CellMTN Employee Denies “Misusing” Over US$60,000

By Abraham S. Sollie/GNN Judicial Reporter

CEIO Chairman addressing a press conference
CEIO Chairman addressing a press conference

Lone Star Cell MTNemployee indicted for misusing over US$60,000, on Monday, August 29, 2016, denied in open court the criminal charge of Misapplication of Entrusted Propertylevied against her by the state on behalf of the communications company.

Defendant Suzette Binda Blake, Regional Sales Supervisor at Lone Star Cell MTN, denied the criminal charge shortly after she was arraigned before the Presiding Judge of Criminal Court “C”, Emery S. Paye, tofind outher plea to the indictment.

It can be recalled that the Grand Jury of Montserrado County, on Tuesday, August 23, 2016,indicted Defendant Suzette Binda Blake for the crime of Misapplication of Entrusted Property a crime they said is in violation of 4 Liberia Code of Law Revised (4LCLR, Title 26, Section 15.56 and 4LCLR, Title 26, Section 2.2(b) and 4LCLR, Title 26, Section 1.7(1) and 4LCLR, Title 26, Section(c),(d) and (f) misdemeanor of the second degree.

This is what the five-count indictment  said: “That, between the period of March A.D. 2014 up to and including July A.D. 2015, in the City of Monrovia, Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia, you, Defendant Suzette Binda Blake, with criminal intent to commit a crime, purposely, knowingly, willfully and intentionally, committed the crime of Misapplication of Entrusted  Property. That, you, Defendant Suzette Binda Blake, served within the employ of the Lone Star Cell Communications MTN in the capacity of a Regional  Sales Supervisor, you defendant was entrusted and charged with the responsibilities to supply stores, Gas stations, Pharmacies, bus stops, etc, with mobile phones, scratch cards and Sim cards.”

The indictment stated that the defendant, while serving Lone Star Cell MTN as Regional Sales Supervisor, was entrusted by the company with electronic mobile moneys and stocks/goods, valued at L$449,515 plus US$66,000 respectively for sale, supply and that she was instructed to report or deposit the proceeds in the company’s account at EcoBank Liberia Limited and other banking institutions.

“That, while acting in a fiduciary capacity and function, you Defendant Suzette Binda Blake, received the said properties; sole same through deception and deceit converted the proceeds into your own use and benefit, thereby depriving the owner of the use of its tangible properties. That the total value of properties misapplied by you against the will and consent of the private prosecutor is US$66,000 plus L$449, 515,” the indictment among other things added.

But the defendant, when arraigned before the court, pleaded not guilty to the indictment thereby joining legal issue with the state.

After her plea of not guilty, Defendant Suzette Binda Blake waived her Constitutional rights to jury trial requesting the court through her legal representation for a bench trial leaving everything with the judge to decide.

For his part, Judge Paye granted the defendant’s request announcing that the case will be tried without a jury sitting and that the presiding judge will sit as both trial of the facts and of the law.

He among other things scheduled further hearing in the case to today, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 based upon state lawyers’ request for additional time.

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About Cholo Brooks 15629 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.