If what prosecution alleges about the defect on both ‘Bishop’ Manaseh Conto’s and ‘Pastor’ Steve Kettor’s US$468,336 bond that temporary released them from jail was anything to go by, then, Criminal Court ‘C’ may likely send the ‘religious’ pair back to their cells at the Monrovia Central Prison.
The controversial bond was posted on behalf of the defendants by the International Insurance Company of Liberia.
The ‘religious’ duo were indicted for their alleged roles in duping Korea Trading Corporation, owned by Hungchi Choi, of a total amount of US$155,799.
At yesterday’s hearing on the merits and demerits of the bond, whose legality the prosecutors challenged, Judge Paye, though he allowed the lawyers of both Conto and Choi to defend their arguments, failed to come down with a judgment.
Instead, the Criminal Court judge informed the gathering that he was not going to make a decision on the issue yesterday.
Addressing the parties after their arguments, Judge Paye declared that “ruling of the matter is hereby reserved to be held upon the making of a regular notice of assignment within the shortest possible time.”
If Judge Paye were to accept prosecution’s argument, he would send the ‘religious’ pair back to jail, until their lawyers can post or ratify what was wrong on their bond.
Conto and Kettor are both leaders of the Mission of Today Holy Church in the New Kru Community.
Kettor did not attend yesterday’s hearing.
They were accused of robbing the Korea Trading Corporation (KTC) of a vehicle and spare parts sale and rental services. Kettor was KTC’s general manager.
Hungchi Choi, who is the owner of the company, claimed that while he was out of the country as a result of the Ebola virus outbreak, the two men sold and rented some of his vehicles, thereby raising several hundred thousand United States dollars, and converted the proceeds into their personal use.
He also alleged that the defendants rented some of his company’s vehicles to US military personnel who came to Liberia to help in the fight against Ebola and the World Food Program (WFP) and deposited the money into the defendants’ established company, named as SACS, account. The defendants are yet to appear in court to say whether or not they are guilty over Hungchi’s claim.
The case continues.