Court Grants Defense request for two interpreters Portuguese and Arabic in drug case

By Comfort M. Johnson

Criminal Court “C” Judge Blamo Dixon

(LINA) – The Presiding Judge of Criminal Court “C” Judge Blamo A. Dixon has granted Defense lawyers request for an interpreter in the ongoing drug case to enable said defendant who speaks Portuguese both Arabic to be able to testify in said case.

The lawyers representing the four defendants who are linked to a US$100,000,000 (One Hundred Million) money laundering case requested Court to invite an interpreter from the Ministry of foreign Affairs to provide a Portuguese and Arabic interpreter, which they said two of the defendants speak Portuguese and Arabic.

Following Defense lawyers request, Judge Dixon granted their request ordering the clerk of court to respond to the communication from the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs addressed to Court to prevail upon his excellency Dee Maxwell Saah Kemaya to forward a diplomatic note to the Embassy of the United States of America to aid the Court with two interpreters from Portuguese and Arabic languages to English and vice versa.

The trial of four defendants and others to be identified, who are linked to a US$100,000,000 (One Hundred Million) money laundering case is reassigned for hearing on Monday February 27, 2023 at 10:30am.

Defendants Malam Conte, Adulai Djibri Djalo, Makki Admeh Issam and Oliver A. Zayzay and others to be identified were indicted for commission of  the crime of Money Laundering, Unlicensed Possession of Controlled Drug, Unlicensed Importation of Controlled Drugs and Criminal Conspiracy.

They were indicted on the four counts by the Grand Jury of Montaerrado County and to be brought before Criminal Court “C”, based on an arrest order issued by A. Blamo Dixon.

The four counts in the indictment, which was brought down against them noted that Malam Conte, Adulai Djibri Djalo and Makki Admeh Issam, Oliver A. Zayzay, and others to be identified, conspired, colluded, and facilitated to commit the crime of Money Laundering, which is a Felony of the First Degree, Unlicensed Importation of Controlled Drug or Substance, Unlicensed Possession of Controlled Drugs or Substance which are also Felony of the First Degree and Criminal Conspiracy, Felony of Second Degree.

Defendant Makki Ahmed Issam, a resident of Sinkor along with co-defendants Adulai Djibril Djalo and Oliver Allen Zayzay were turned over to the government on Thursday, October 6, 2023, through Lorenzo Pehlam, Deputy Director for Operations, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) for allegedly trafficking drugs between the Liberian and Sierra Leonean borders as well as money laundering and criminal conspiracy.

The Government of Sierra Leone arrested and turned over to its Liberian counterpart the three men who were allegedly involved in the shipment of five hundred and twenty kilogram (520kg) of cocaine valued at one hundred million United States dollars (USD 100m).

During the background investigation, police said it was also established that on October 1, a Lebanese man, Co-defendant Issam, was seen at the Fresh Frozen Food company located at Bong Mines Pearl with Defendant Conte negotiating for the purchase of the container marked MNBU4070592 on behalf of Malai Conte and Adulai Djibri Djalo.

Defendant Issam accordingly escaped upon the arrest of co-defendant Conte and subsequently fled to neighboring Sierra Leone along with Co-defendants Oliver A. Zayzay and Adulai Djibri Djalo.

The Grand Jury of Montserrado indictment also noted that the act of the Defendants is contrary to Section 15.2 of the Money Laundering Act, 2.2(b) of the Penal Law of Liberia, and against the peace and dignity of Liberia.

Meanwhile case Continues on February 27 at 10:30am.

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