IBLL Clarifies Statements in Global Witness Case

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The International Bank Liberia Limited (IBLL) has refuted claims that it did not comply with subpoenas from the First Judicial Court in the ongoing Global Witness alleged bribery scandal.

A press statement yesterday said IBLL did not refuse to comply with subpoenas from Criminal Court C. IBLL, among several other banks, was ordered by the court to produce 26 checks issued by and drawn on the accounts of Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman and the Sherman and Sherman Law Firm.

IBLL said on May 19, 2016, it received a subpoena from the First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Assizes “A” to produce bank statements of Sherman & Sherman, Inc., and Cllr. Varney G. Sherman on May 23, 2016 at 12pm.

“Subsequently the bank received a STAY ORDER from Criminal Court “A” ordering all banks within Liberia, including IBLL, to STAY the production of all bank statements in respect of accounts of Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman, Sherman & Sherman, Inc., and other co-defendants in the Sable Mining case, until otherwise,” the release said.

On June 9, 2016, IBLL received a subpoena from the First Judicial, Criminal Assizes “C” to produce bank statements of Sherman & Sherman, Inc. and Cllr. Varney G. Sherman on June 13, at 10am.

“On June 10, 2016, the Bank received a STAY ORDER from Criminal Court “C” ordering all banks within Liberia, to STAY the production of all bank statements in respect of accounts of Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman, Sherman & Sherman, Inc., and other co-defendants in the Sable Mining case, until otherwise advised,” it said.

The release noted that on December 22, 2016, IBLL received another communication lifting the STAY ORDER and ordering IBLL to produce statements of Cllr. Sherman and Sherman & Sherman, Inc. within 72 hours.

Management, the release said, immediately responded and provided the court the referenced bank statements, without delay. It said it received another subpoena from Criminal Court “C” ordering it to produce 26 checks drawn on the accounts of Cllr. Sherman and Sherman & Sherman, Inc.

“During the search for the 26 checks, it was established that all checks for the months of January through April, 2010, were signed for and received by the designated Sherman & Sherman, Inc., personnel, including seven of the checks requested by the court. These checks were, therefore, no longer in the bank’s possession, and the court was informed,” the release said.

The IBLL management said 14 checks were located at the bank’s head office and immediately submitted to the court, thus leaving only 2 checks outstanding.

“When the request for the remaining two checks was received on March 23, 2017 at 6:16pm, the CEO of the bank was away from Liberia and this was incorrectly assumed by a member of the bank staff that the two remaining checks were missing, when they were in fact secured in the CEO’s vault along with the remaining checks of Sherman & Sherman, Inc. for the period May to December 2010,” the release said.

Upon the CEO’s return on Monday, April 3, 2017, the release said he accessed his safe and the remaining checks were turned over to the court on the following Tuesday morning, April 4, 2017.

The IBLL management said it regrets the late submission of the two referenced checks and said the delay was an inadvertent human error.

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