Criminal Court Frustrates FIBank Lawyers

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Arguments pushed by lawyers representing First International Bank (FIB) to have ten former employees now facing US$4m theft charges to remain in prison until they were ready to try them were yesterday ignored by Criminal Court C.
The lawyers were lobbying with Judge Peter Gbeneweleh to agree to have the defendants remain behind bars for fear that the defendants who had earlier jumped bail could leave the country if they were not detained.
Judge Gbeneweleh, after listening to their arguments yesterday declared, “We are not interested just to detain people because of bond, we are here to prosecute people to know whether or not they committed the crimes of which they are accused.”
Judge Gbeneweleh warned the defense team, “I will not approve of any more bonds, and if you were to take me to the Supreme Court, I would tell them that I am tired of approving bond for defendants who on bail refuse to reappear for their trial,”
At yesterday’s hearing only four of the ten defendants were present in the courtroom while the six others, who were not in court, were represented by their legal team.
It was not clear why the six defendants did not appear in court yesterday to commence with the case. Judge Gbeneweleh warned all counsels and parties that were present “to ensure the appearance of their respective clients on Wednesday, September 2, at 9:00 am. The failure of any defendant whose counsels are present and they are not in court, would leave the court with no alternative but to arrest and detain the said defendants until the case is completely resolved.”
Gbeneweleh’s decision followed the defense team whose clients were not present in court and as a result postponed the case for an additional day at which time they would have appeared in court.

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