Supreme Court Orders Resumption of Sable Mining Corruption Case

Barely a year after it was stalled due to legal wrangling among the party litigants, the Sable Mining bribery case involving former and current government officials is expected to resume this November 2017 Term of Court at Criminal Court “C”, Temple of Justice.

The case was adjourned early 2016 based on a Writ of Certiorari filed by the defense counsels against the former presiding judge Yarmie Gbeisay’s decision to subpoena several commercial banks to provide the bank statements of the eight defendants, mainly the principal defendant, Grand Cape Mount Senator Varney Sherman.

The defense counsels led By Cllr. Moses Paegar who is also the President Of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) claimed that the decision of Judge Gbeisay was an error on the part of the Presiding Judge and therefore filed for a Writ of Certiorari for the High Court to review and make determination on their complaint.

The Supreme Court following hearing into the petition ruled and denied the appeal on the petition for the writ of certiorari filed by the defense counsels.

  High Court’s opinion stated that having heard the legal arguments advanced by the parties, reviewed the facts and attending circumstances revealed by the records and examined the laws controlling and being satisfied that the trial court did not err in ordering the issuance of the Writ of Subpoena duces tecum on certain commercial banks for the production of the bank accounts information of persons and institutions who were alleged to have been involved in the commission of the criminal offences stated in the application of the writs” said the opinion of the high court.

“That the ruling of the lower court denying the motion to quash and dismiss the writs of subpoena duces tecum issued by the court being in harmony with the law governing such matter, the same is confirmed and affirmed and the appeal is accordingly denied,” the Supreme Court’s opinion stated.

The resumption of the Sable Mining bribery case this time under a new assigned Judge, Blamo Dixon, was based on the mandate issued by the Supreme Court to lower court, Criminal Court “C” to resume jurisdiction over the case.

“ The Clerk of this court is hereby ordered to send a mandate to the lower court informing it of the judgment, costs are to abide the final judgment in the case, and it is hereby so ordered,” the mandate averred.

According to court document, the lower Criminal Court “C” which has already resumed jurisdiction over the case will this Wednesday, November 22, 2017 read the mandate to the parties in the case on the said date at the hour of 11:am.

The eight defendants expected to be tried in the Sable Mining bribery case include, Senator Varney Sherman, former House Speaker Alex Tyler, and former National Investment Commission (NIC) Richard Tolbert.

Other includes: former Lands and Mines Minister Eugene Shannon, for Land Deputy Minister E.C.B. Jones, Bomi County Senator Morris Saytumah and businessman Christopher Onanuga.

The defendants are alleged to have received a bribe of US$950 from the British Company (Sable Mining) to change the Public Procurement and Concession (PPCC) in favor of the company to award a mining contract to mine the Wologisi Mountain in Lofa County but the defendants who are charged with bribery, economic sabotage, criminal facilitation, solicitation and conspiracy denied the charges.

Front Page Africa | Tuesday, 21 November, 2017