LIBERIA: Criminal Court ‘C’ Begins Hearing Of GT Bank Liberia Alleged Theft of property Case

By Dyujay Jackson*

Judge T. Ciapha Carey of Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice has begun hearing into the alleged Theft of property, misapplication of entrusted property and criminal conspiracy case involving the Guaranty Trust Bank and business man George Kailondo.

During Monday legal argument the prosecutions lawyers headed by Cllr. Bobby Livingston said the prosecutions would find it difficult to proceed due to the absence of the other defendants from GT Bank Liberia.

He said the indictment carried the caption Guaranty Trust Bank Liberia limited thru it’s manager Ikenna Anekwa , the deputies ,operation manager, executive director, the comptroller and others to be identified, but later observe and realized that only the Executive Director Prince Saye was present in the dock.

The prosecutions lawyer during the hearing pray the court to hold the others officials for contempt of court for disobeying the court by not being present today to plead to the indictment.

But responding to the prosecutions lawyers request one of the defense representing GT Bank Liberia limited said the name officers are not defendant in the case, adding that they are listed merely for the purpose of service.

The Bank lawyers maintain that criminal defendants are required to attend all stages of a criminal trial , adding that the corporate officials are not criminal defendants so their presence is not mandated by law.

The defense lawyers further convince the court that the general rules criminal defendants must attend all proceedings of a criminal trial does not apply to corporation because section 2.4 subsection 4 provides to an exception of corporation.

“A corporation may appear by counsel for all purposes, saying that giving this expressed language of the statute ,the defendant in these proceeding which is the corporation, has the discretion to appear by counsel.” The defense lawyers maintain.

They revealed that the present of one of the corporation officials was for the purpose of answering to the plea of the indictment, it did not required all of the officers on the bank and does not requires the presences of all of the officers during the trial.

“We challenge the prosecutions to cite portion of the law which mandates all corporate officers of a defendant corporation to be present during trial ,there is no requirement of the law .” the Defense lawyers lamented.

The Guaranty Trust Bank Liberia limited lawyers added that thou GT Bank is the defendant in these proceedings as a corporation, it is not required to be present, adding that it’s corporate officer cannot be present but assuming without admitting that a corporate criminal defendant is required to be present, the present of o lone corporate officer is sufficient and suffice.

Our correspondent said following the arraigning   of the indictment to the lone corporate officer in present of Prince Saye, by the clerk of court, pleaded not guilty.

Despite request made by the prosecutions lawyers the criminal court C judge T Ciapha Carey using his sound discretion said he will temper justice with mercy and said that the matter will be reassigned for hearing for the defendants named in the indictment to be present.

Judge Carey added that failure for those defendants to be present for the next hearing date, he will be left with no alternative but to grant the application of the prosecutions to have the defendants held in contempt.

Meanwhile Judge T. Ciapha Carey has grant the prosecutions application that the defendants be present at every stage of the trial, while denailing the defense counselors resistance.

He however reassigned the hearing for Tuesday February 22,2022 at 10:00 am at which time all defendants named in the indictment are to be present.

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