–Gets one week to pay L$1.058 billion bail
Lawyers representing Joseph Dennis, Central Bank of Liberia’s (CBL) deputy director of Internal Audit, who is among five current and former officials on trial for their alleged involvement in the ‘missing’ L$16 billion, succeeded on Monday, August 26, 2019, in persuading the government to release him from the Monrovia Central Prison (MCP) on medical reprieve.
Five days earlier (Wednesday, August 21), Dennis’ legal team filed a motion for admission to bail on medical grounds, just a day after one of his fellow defendants, Charles Sirleaf, was released on a similar request.
His motion for acceptance followed five days of intense negotiation between lawyers representing him and the office of the Solicitor General at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), which agreement compelled Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’ to issue Dennis’ release order on Monday.
In addition to granting Dennis’ medical bail, Judge Dixon also set his bail at L$1.058 billion, demanding that Dennis post the bond either in cash or property value within a week, noting, “Or else you will go back to jail.”
Dixon also remanded former CBL governor Milton Weeks and two other co-defendants, including Richard H. Walker, director for operations, and Dorbor M. Hagba, director for finance, at the central prison pending the securing of a bond each in the amount of the same amount as Dennis (L$1,058,000,000).
Before yesterday’s decision, government lawyers on August 22 informed the court that they were not prepared to proceed with the hearing of the motion due to official engagement, one of which has to do with the removal of the remains of their fallen colleague, Cllr. Fredrick Doe Cherue, a former Justice Minister, from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home.
The bail hearing was scheduled for that very day; unfortunately, the prosecutors chose to file their excuse for postponement of the case, which action kept the ailing Dennis at the central prison until Monday’s action.
In Dennis’ request for admission to bail on medical grounds, it says that he had been showing signs of ailment before his arrest and had repeatedly been taken to hospital for treatment.
They also claimed that the examination on him prior to being arrested revealed that he is suffering from a ‘prostate’ condition, a disease of the gland and for which he was being treated.
Dennis’ request also said that he has a tube inserted in his body, which is periodically monitored, a situation which would best be treated or managed if he were to be granted bail.
“Because his life hangs in the balance as per the medical report and information from the ELWA Hospital, he should be placed on bail so that his life may be preserved,” the document said.
The case continues…