‘Advance Parker’s Case to Trial’

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A lead defense lawyer in the ongoing saga concerning the US$1.2 million bond filed on behalf of the suspended National Port Authority (NPA) managing director Matilda W. Parker and her comptroller took a different trend yesterday when Cllr. Fredrick Cherue was openly heard challenging government lawyers to avoid much technicality and move the case to trial.
Cherue’s argument came after hours of heated debate at the first day of the hearing in a packed courtroom of Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice concerning the authenticity of the US$1.2 million controversial bond. The hearing was postponed for the second time to today by Judge Peter Gbeneweleh.
Judge Gbeneweleh’s decision came shortly after both defense and prosecutors took long hours of most of the court’s time arguing on legal issues surrounding the case.
Cllr. Cherue’s comments came after the judge and the Solicitor-General, Cllr. Betty Lamin Blamo, entered into a bitter argument in the courtroom, while a representative of the insurance company was seated in the dock testifying on the justification of the said bond.
It was during the argument that Cllr. Cherue was publicly heard as saying, “do not bring too much technicalities in the case, because, we are just in a fact-finding stage. If you want for us to produce all of our evidences then you have to advance the case on the docket for trial.”
Making reference to the bond records presented to the court and subsequently approved by Judge Gbeneweleh, Cllr. Cherue as the lead defense counsel and a former Senator of RiverGee County said, “Your honor, all that they are arguing about were parts of the records that we presented to the court and were approved by you,” wondering, “What do they want for us to do now, let them allow us to go for the merit and the demerit (trial).”
Immediately, after Cherue’s statement, Cllr. Blamo in her response, said, “Do not worry, the case is already on the docket for trial.”
She did not explain when government would be trying the suspended NPA executives.
Cllr. Blamo went onto say, “We have to question the legality of the bond, because it has so many discrepancies so we need to look at it in its totality.”
One of the deficiencies, she said, was that the insurance company submitted two separate tax clearances to the court, claiming, “One was dated on March 2015, and the other was dated June the same year.”
“So, you need to tell us which one of the tax clearances that you are talking about, and to produce the original copy of each document,” the Solicitor General asserted.
The questionable bond was secured by the Family Dollar Universal Insurance to prevent Matilda Parker and her comptroller Christina Kpabar-Paelay from being incarcerated, both of whom are accused of stealing US$837,950 from the NPA.
However, government lawyers claimed that it is defective and therefore, the court should be set aside for the pair to file a satisfactory bond or be arrested and placed behind bars until said bond was made right under the law.

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