Prosecutors and defense attorneys yesterday completed the selection of credible men and women who will decide whether Margertta Dorbor stole US$22,567 and LD$288,690 from the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI).
Dorbor, a former employee of the bank could face a long prison sentence if found guilty, as Judge Peter Gbeneweleh of Criminal Court ‘C’ yesterday managed the lengthy process which led to the selection of 6 impartial jurors and three alternates from an initial pool of about 100 persons.
Prosecutors have brought charges against defendant Dorbor in connection with the 2010 robbery at the bank.
A staff of the bank’s Gardnersville branch, Ms. Dorbor also faces dozens of other charges including theft of property, forgery and counterfeiting.
Dorbor has pleaded not guilty.
Attorneys on Wednesday questioned individual potential jurors who have already passed a lengthy written questionnaire to determine whether the intense media interest in the case has affected their ability to reach an impartial verdict.
Opening arguments will resume today, Thursday, February 19.
"My job is to apply the law and ensure that justice is done and you are to look at the facts that would be presented during the trial," Judge Gbeneweleh told a small group of prospective jurors. “I remind you that Dorbor remains innocent.”
In court, Dorbor appeared as though she did not care about the prospective jurors who hold her fate in their hands.
Wearing a gray long skirt and gray-stripped blouse, she sat on a bench behind her defense team, continuously looking around the courtroom or at the dozens of people sitting a few feet away.
In this trial, jurors will first determine Dorbor’s guilt or innocence on dozens of charges. If she is convicted of any theft charges, the same jurors will then separately decide whether she should be sent to long term imprisonment in their moral decision.
In December 2010, Ms. Gloria Menjor, General Manager of the bank, accused Dorbor of filling in a withdrawal slip for US$70,000 in the name of Gardnersville People’s Saving Club and diverting said amount to her personal use without the knowledge and consent of the account holder.
She said the scheme was discovered during an audit of the bank’s Gardnersville branch where the defendant was assigned.
Contrary to Dorbor’s denial of her involvement, the bank’s general manager insisted that Dorbor admitted withdrawing the amount from the account of the Club and she refunded it paying US$1,000 to the LBDI management for which a receipt was allegedly issued to her.
Ms. Menjor also alleged that during the audit, the auditor discovered 200 pieces of US$100 counterfeit bills in a bag owned by defendant Dorbor.