Court Delayed over Merit of US$1.2M Bond

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Several spectators, who spent the past two days watching the debate over the merit of a US$1.2 million bond filed on behalf of suspended NPA officials Matilda Parker and Christina Kparbar Paelay at Criminal Court ‘C’, left the courtroom yesterday embittered about proceedings, which led to the postponement of the case.
The bond was filed by the Family Dollar Universal Insurance, a company the prosecution claimed lacked the legal capacity to file said bond for the defendants.
They also asked the court to deny it, re-arrest the defendants, and incarcerate them until the proper bond was served.
Parker and Paelay were accused by government of stealing US$837,950, while serving in their respective posts at the corporation. They claimed to have secured a bond to prevent them from being incarcerated until their case could commence.
Unfortunately, at yesterday’s proceedings, Judge Peter Gbeneweleh told the court that he could not continue with the bond hearing, “because of time constraints caused by the failure of the lawyers to appear on time.”
The case was expected to resume by 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon. But surprisingly to people who gathered at the court for the hearing, when Judge Gbeneweleh called the matter for hearing, the defense team was nowhere around in the courtroom, which compelled the judge to postpone the case with another one.
Interestingly, by the time he had concluded with the case, which he had earlier called first, he could not hear the bond matter because the court was pressed with time.
Therefore the Judge publicly ruled that time had been far spent, and therefore, the matter was suspended to today at 2 p.m.
His decision was also supported by the defense team and prosecutors, who had implored legal technicality that continue to delay hearing into the bond issue, which could not allow them to conclude with the examination of the insurance company’s first witness for the three consecutive days.
However, Judge Gbeneweleh’s decision shocked friends and family, who filled much of the courtroom Wednesday afternoon.
A female who wants to remain unanimous, was shocked while leaving the courtroom. She said the prosecution was joking with the case, and so, she was disappointed.
“I just cannot believe it,” she said, “It is a joke what they are doing in this country when cases of corrupt natures are brought to court,” she opined.
Another person, a male counterpart, who was regular at the trial was also heard as saying, “I cannot believe what we continue to see in this case, for a bond hearing to stay such a long time, they must be joking here with this case.”
“It is just too bad that we are paying too much money to transport ourselves for the hearing and we are not able to get any result,” he noted, “What is happening and why are we delaying with this simple bond hearing?”
Defendant Parker along with Paelay were accused of designing a criminal scheme whereby they awarded two sole-source contracts without the approval of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) to co-defendant Deneah M. Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise on behalf of the NPA from 2011 to 2012.
The alleged contracts were for co-defendant Flomo to remove wreckage from the port of Greenville, Sinoe County, and the provision of security consultancy at the ports of Monrovia, Buchanan, Grand Bassa County and Greenville at the agreed priced of US$500,000 and US$300,000 respectively.
The accused further made fraudulent payment of funds from the NPA’s accounts to defendant Flomo for expertise, which amounted to US$837,950.

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