Magistrate Kennedy Peabody has ordered the immediate incarceration of three former and current officials of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) charged with the alleged crime of economic sabotage, misuse of public money, property or records and illegal disbursement and expenditure of public money, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation relative to L$2.645 billion.
Those brought before the court on Monday were Central Bank ex-Governor Milton Weeks, current Deputy Governor, Charles Sirleaf, and Dorbor Hogba, Bank Supervisor.
But Solicitor General Daku Mulbah asked the Court to have the defendants acquainted with their Miranda and Constitutional rights and the charges levied against them in keeping with law and for which they have been forwarded to court.
The defendants were Thursday, February 28, arrested by Police following the release of two reports by the Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) and the USAID-funded Kroll Associates into the alleged scandal involving L$16 billion.
Accordingly, Magistrate Peabody informed the defendants of their Miranda rights, saying that the charges levied against the accused is billable, and therefore the State must be able to provide sufficient evidence while the accused must file proper criminal appearance bond for the crime charged.
He said failure on the part of the defendants to file a valid criminal appearance bond, they should be placed in the hands of the Sherriff, and escorted to the Monrovia Central Prison pending notice of assignment.
Co- Defendant Sirleaf is represented by Cllr. Johnny Momoh, James A. Pierre, and Amara Sheriff, while defendant Weeks is represented by Abraham Sillah of the Heritage Partners and defendant Dorbor Hogba is represented by Cllr. Agustine Fayah.
The three defendants were on Monday charged and forwarded to court for allegedly misusing government funds.
The defendants were heavily escorted by the Police Support Unit (PSU), and placed on the prisoner’s bench at the Monrovia City Court, and immediately thereafter, a writ of arrest was issued informing them of the criminal charges against them.
The writ of arrest indicated that during the period of 2016 and 2018, co-defendant Sirleaf, while serving as acting Bank Governor, conspired with other officials of the CBL and the co-defendants all of whom intentionally printed and caused the printing of excess Liberian dollars.
Of the total amounted printed and shipped to Liberia, the writ said that the defendants failed to account for a total of L$2,645 billion, adding that the defendants out of deception criminally converted said amount to their personal use.
Said action on the part of the defendants, the writ indicted, has the propensity to cause serious economic instability, undermine the government and cause citizens to rise up against it.
According to the writ of arrest, the alleged act of the defendants being unlawful, wicked, illegal, criminal and intentional and, as such, is in violation of the laws of the Republic of Liberia to included sections 15.80,15.81 and 10.4 of the revised penal law of Liberia.
Meanwhile, the defendants are currently been placed behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison while awaiting court trial.