CBL to Testify in Beyslow’s Bond Case

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Former Commerce Minister Miatta Beysolow

What was expected yesterday as proceedings to have afforded Accident and Casualty Insurance Company (ACICO) opportunity to justify its US$2 million criminal appearance bond took a dramatic turn when government lawyers asked for the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to appear and testify about a certificate of asset it issued to the insurance company.

Immediately after prosecution presented the case regarding the issuance of the certificate to Presiding Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’, the judge ordered the clerk to cite the bank’s officials to come and show reason why they issued the document to ACCICO.

The CBL will appear on Tuesday, March 29 to testify on the prosecution’s argument.

Before prosecution’s request the prosecutor had earlier challenged the financial capacity of the insurance which they asked the court to deny and demanded a new bond.

ACCICO posted the bond which prevented the court from authorizing the imprisonment of former Commence Minister Miatta Beyslow along with former Managing Director of Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, T. Nelson Williams, Jr., including two other senior public officials.

They were indicted for their involvement in the misapplication of US$5.8 million from the sale of an oil grant from the Government of Japan to the Government of Liberia, intended for the recipient’s social and economic development.

The insurance company relied on the certificate and withdrew its initial motion to justify its bond, after the bond was challenged by the prosecution and subsequently filed an amendment with the certificate attached to it.

Further in their argument to cite the CBL, the prosecution contends that ACCICO, serving as surety for the defendants’ bail bond, has not satisfied the court and whether there is any legal authority and evidence to prove that ACCICO has the ability and capacity to do so.

They also claim that there is no statement of accounts of ACCICO from any financial institution, including CBL or outside of Liberia, attached to the bond to show evidence that it has financial capacity to serve as surety required under the law.

In counter argument ACCICO’s lawyers said, the CBL issued them the certificate confirming the company has assets in the country over US$3.0miliion and the bank considers that they have sufficient assets in the country to cover the bond of US$2million.

According to them, the CBL certificate legally validates the defendants’ bond coupled with its audit report submitted to the CBL for 2014 and it could also submit the audit for 2015 as mandated by the 2011 Issuance Act.

Meanwhile, the bond justification hearing also did not take place yesterday, because the defense team claimed that they received the information for yesterday’s hearing late, as such they were unable to contact all of the defendants and the insurance company.

That matter is postponed to Tuesday, March 29.

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