Former Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) governor, Milton Weeks, and two others have been remanded again at the Monrovia Central Prison by Criminal Court “C”.
Weeks, Dorbor Hagba and Richard Walker were on Monday detained for the third time by Presiding Judge Blamo Dixon after the motion filed by defense lawyers to extend existing criminal appearance bonds to the new charge of money laundering was denied.
Judge Dixon said the motion to extend the existing appearance bond to the new charge is “very strange, and is not supported by law,” as said motion is “unprecedented and is contrary to our law and practice.”
Judge Dixon further stated that the motion filed by defense lawyers is also without the ambit of Chapter 15 Section 15.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia, and that said motion contravenes Chapter 15 of the Criminal Procedure Law captioned arraignment, plea, and pre-trial motion.
Following the denial of said motion, the court also granted the prosecution submission to consolidate the two indictments against the defendants to be one, so as to enable the defendants respond to the reading of the indictment.
After granting the consolidation of the two indictments, Joseph Dennis was released following an admission to bail on medical grounds filed by his lawyers, while Charles Sirleaf, former deputy governor, was released last week for medical reason as well.
But Presiding Judge Dixon ordered the defendants to post an appropriate criminal appearance bond in the tone of L$1,058,000,000.00 each to ensure their day-to-day appearance in court.
Judge Dixon further indicated that the indictment drawn against the defendants in this case alleges the amount of L$2,645,000,000.00 stolen, and if said amount is multiplied by two, then the total bail will be L$5,290,000,000.00 and if the defendants decide to file a joint bond, leaving each one to post L$1,058,000,000 or its equivalent in US dollar at the prevailing rate of the CBL.
Milton Weeks, Charles Sirleaf, Dobor Hagba, Joseph Dennis and Richard H. Walker were arrested by the Government of Liberia in connection to the L$2.6 billon alleged illegal printing of the amount.
The indictment pointed out that in April of 2016 up to and including August of 2018 at the head offices of the Central Bank of Liberia, the five defendants by virtue of their employments and positions within the bank, did knowingly, deliberately and internationally collude and conspire with the wicked intent to launder money and sabotage the Liberian economy.
And thereby defrauded the central bank and the Government when they unauthorizingly printed excess Liberian dollar banknotes amounting to L$2,645,000,000 to infuse into the Liberian market but which they deliberately and intentionally laundered to the detriment of the Liberian economy, and unauthorizingly paid and caused to be paid, and did pay the amount of US$835,367.72 to co-defendant Crane Currency for the amount printed.
Following their arrest by the police, they were charged with economic sabotage, criminal facilitation, and criminal conspiracy and are currently indicted by the grand jurors of the court since the February Term.
Meanwhile, defendant Joseph Dennis should write a promissory note to be placed in the hands of the Sheriff of the court, after which he will be placed in the hands of his lawyers to be brought before court during the hearing of the case.
The court has also given Messrs. Sirleaf and Dennis one week to post their individual appearance bond in the amount of L$1,058,000,000 or its equivalent in United States dollar.
During the reading of the indictments, the defendants pleaded not guilty before court.