Investigation of members of the Jury Management Team conspiring with female bailiff (court officer), Bendu Dukuly, to bribe the sequestrated jurors to influence the outcome of the economic sabotage case against former National Port Authority (NPA) head, Matilda Parker and her Comptroller, took a different turn yesterday with the accused, Winston Fayiah, describing the allegation as “baseless and unfounded.”
Fayiah, who is the Assistant Manager of the Jury Management Team, made the assertion when he appeared before the ongoing investigation into jury tampering by Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C.’
Bailiff Dukuly had earlier told the court that on Saturday, January 30, she received two letters from Fayiah, who pleaded with her to have them delivered to two of the 15 jurors, identified as Kebbeh Kollie and Melvin Neowen, who are helping Judge Dixon to decide the case.
She also claimed that Fayiah gave her five hundred Liberian dollars to enable her facilitate the process.
Besides Fayiah, Bailiff Dukuly also accused an employee of the judiciary (Madam Jenneh Kamara) of giving her two other letters to give to the two jurors.
It was based on these revelations that the prosecution asked Judge Dixon to disband the jury, prompting the investigation.
However, the four accused vehemently denied the allegation during investigations by Judge Dixon and the legal teams for the defense and the prosecution.
Fayiah told the court that, “the allegation is baseless, unfounded and misdirected. It is a clever attempt by the prosecution to smear the good intent of Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor to establish the Jury Management Team.”
“Their smear campaign will not work with this present leadership of the Jury Management Team, because we are not part of the prosecution team; so let them be aware from today,” Fayiah warned. “We are neutral working to ensure that everybody gets justice in their cases be it civil or criminal, so we are not going to do anything that would destroy the confidence Justice Korkpor has placed upon us.”
He added that he was not at the Temple of Justice on January 30, because Saturday was not a working day for his office.
“From Friday, January 29 up to Sunday, the 31, I was not even at the office because I was walking after moving to my new residence in the Matadi Estate Community; so how would Dukuly say she met me on Saturday?” he asked.
Commenting on the alleged five hundred Liberian dollars, Fayiah admitted giving money to Bailiff Dukuly but refused to clarify why; something (the L$500) that she claimed was meant to influence the jury.
Fayiah said the first time he interacted with Bailiff Dukuly was when the Jury Management Team was trying to find a female bailiff to take care of jurors that were to be sequestrated for another case at the Criminal Court ‘E.”
“It is true that she was at my office to discuss about her transfer from Criminal Court ‘C’ to Criminal Court ‘E’, and not about jury tampering,” Fayiah claimed. “She refused to accept the transfer, but when she was leaving the court it was then that she asked me to give her transportation, and I did.”
Earlier in tears, Madam Kamara, who had worked with the judicial system for nearly 16 years as a cook, told the court that she was never at work on Saturday, January 30.
“I left the Temple of Justice on Friday to attend to a call from my brother about the sickness of his wife and there are witnesses that can prove it,” Madam Kamara told the investigation.
She added “I returned to work on Monday, February 1, so if she wants to lie she should do it to any person and not to spoil my job.”
The investigation continues.