LIBERIA: Court Clears 4 Ex-Coca Cola Staff Of Alleged US$1.8m Theft

(LINA) – The Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has dropped criminal charges against four former employees of the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company following nine years of prosecution failure to proceed with the case, spanning over 12 terms of court.

Government lawyers suffered a serious blow after a motion to drop charges against the four men was filed by Cllr. Arthur Johnson for prosecution failure to prosecute the defendants.

Defendants George Paye, Emmanuel Tyler, Sam Oyee and Tonia Kparteh were cleared by Judge Boima Kontoe after they were accused of allegedly stealing US$1.8 million from the company in 2011.

It was Prosecution lawyers’ third application to the Court pleading for more time in said matter on grounds that they were finding it tough to establish contract with their witnesses, but defense lawyer Johnson rejected said request to the court.

Prosecution request was denied by Judge Kontoe, who later restored defendants Paye, Tyler, Oyee and Kparteh’s freedom as provided in the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia.

The four defendants’ case has been before the Criminal Court “C” for over twelve terms of court which is in violation of Chapter 18, Section 18.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law.

The ruling of Judge Kontoe has left-room for government lawyers to re-file if they reconnect with their witnesses.

This is the second time for prosecution lawyers to suffer a serious blow at the Criminal Court ‘C’ after former NPA Managing Director Matilda Parker and her Comptroller, Christiana Parley, were cleared of criminal charges in similar manner consistent with law.

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