Judge Holds Jones & Jones Law Firm in Contempt


Judge Peter Gbeneweleh of Criminal Court ‘C’ yesterday held in contempt of court the Jones & Jones Law Firm.
The judge’s decision came following months of obstructing Criminal Court ‘C’ authority to decide whether or not ten persons actually took part in the disappearance of over US$4 million from the First International Bank (FIB) where they had worked for several years.
Jones & Jones Law Firm is one of the legal entities behind the unusual practice, which the judge contended was hindering justice.
Judge Gbeneweleh also said that Jones & Jones was in the constant habit of holding back Ngadi Waritey, who is believed to be one of ten defendants from appearing before the court in connection with the FIB US$4 million saga.
The law firm had earlier managed to convince Sky Insurance Company to secure their client’s bond and committing to ensure her day to day appearance for the trial. Waritey is one of ten persons who were accused of jumping bail in the ongoing FIB saga.
The law firm was aware that they and their clients should have appeared in court yesterday, unfortunately none of them was in court, prompting the judge to vent his anger at them.
However, Judge Gbeneweleh did not impose any penalty on Jones & Jones, but instead set the next hearing on Monday, September 7.
Judge Gbeneweleh instructed his clerk of court to communicate with the Jones and Jones Law Firm to appear before him in court on Monday September 7, to give reason if any why it should not be held in contempt.
“You have to warn them if they fail to bring along their client we are going to issue an arrest warrant against them,” the judge added.
At yesterday’s hearing, Judge Gbeneweleh could not decide the merit and demerit of US$10,000 bail filed on behalf of three of the ten co-defendants: Africanus Freeman, Jerman S. Tegli and Robert Cummings.
Initially, they were part of the ten defendants whose bond was filed by Sky Insurance Company, but the company has informed the court that it was no longer interested in continuing with the bond, on the grounds that the defendants were not complying with the terms and references of the document, meaning they failed to pay their bond fees which amounted to over US$50,000.
It was due to Sky Insurance’s withdrawal, that the three co-defendants secured another bond with the Family Dollar Insurance Company whose merit and demerit Judge Gbeneweleh will be deciding.
Another aspect of the case is that almost all of the defendants are represented by separate law firms, which makes it difficult and expensive for the bank to try them separately.
Prior to Judge Gbeneweleh’s drastic action, four other co-defendants, Africanus Freeman, Jerman S. Tegli, Robert Cummings and Aurella Tamba had voluntary turned themselves over to the jurisdiction of the court.
Strangely, another co-defendant Victoria Yangura yesterday reported herself to the court, after escaping arrest when she heard that Sky Insurance Company had withdrawn its bond.

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