Lawyers representing Ecobank-Liberia in the US$3M damages lawsuit are beginning to outline their case for juror Elizabeth Belleh to be tried on the commission of the crime “criminal attempt to commit bribery.”
Belleh, who served as one of the jurors in the case was allegedly caught in the office of Cllr. Cooper Kruah, one of the lawyers of Embassy Suites, Inc that is seeking the damages against the bank.
Cllr. Kruah continues to deny the claim, when the incident was investigated at the Civil Law Court and during his press conference with journalists last Thursday.
It is not clear when the Ecobank lawyer will bring to court the case against Juror Belleh, but addressing journalists last Friday, Atty. Arthur T. Johnson said they have enough evidence, both photographic and eye –witnesses’ accounts to convict Belleh of the charge.
Besides Juror Belleh, Atty. Johnson said in a carefully worded statement, they were considering implicating other individuals in the lawsuit.
He refused to name the other people, claiming it would be prejudice.
But, he went on to say, “This is a serious issue and we are not taking it lightly. We are going to prosecute those that are involved in the jury tampering saga,” the Ecobank lawyer strongly declared.
Explaining about the discovery of the jury tampering, Atty. Johnson maintained: “Look, my people, Cllr. Kruah can’t deny that we never caught juror Belleh in his office. We did; we have photographs to prove that, but we are not going to show the evidence until we get to the court.
“We kept surveillance on them. When we got the information that she had arrived at his office, we quickly drove to his office and parked our cars right in front of it,” Atty. Johnson alleged.
“We sat there from 4 p.m. until it was 8 p.m., at which time to we saw both of them walking hand in hand from Cllr. Kruah’s office.”
He further claimed that when the Counselor noticed that they were around, he quickly ran back into his office.
“When he saw us around his office, he ran back into his office, but it was too late for Belleh to go after him.
That was how we managed to stop her from leaving the place, and we photographed her, before inviting the police to arrest her which they did,” he claimed.
According to him, Belleh is undergoing criminal investigation at the National Police Headquarters.
“Right now, she is a subject of formal complaint of criminal investigation by the police. This is why we are not going to interfere with the police investigation by disclosing our evidence,” he added.
The action, he said, was to serve as a deterrent to other senior lawyers, who he claimed, were winning cases by using money to influence jurors.
“This is a new thing, we are introducing into our jurisprudence, so as to expose those lawyers who are damaging the images of our courts,’ Atty. Johnson emphasized.
“We are going to do everything legally to root-out those bad apples in our midst,” he maintained.