Jury selection for dismissed National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director Madam Matilda Parker in the US$837,957 economic sabotage case begins today Tuesday, December 8 at Criminal Court “C.”
Today’s exercise will involve both state lawyers and the defense team questioning potential jurors that will be responsible for determining the facts about their knowledge of the case.
If the lawyers fail to select the eight-member jury from prospective jurors, it means that the court will subsequently communicate with the Jury Management Team at the Temple of Justice to produce additional jurors to complete the panel.
When they do get the full panel, the qualified jurors will be immediately sequestrated, meaning they will be held in a specific location and restricted from interactions with the public.
Meanwhile, Madam Parker’s co-defendant, Deneah M. Flomo is still at large.
Recently, Judge Blamo Dixon, who is presiding over the case ordered his clerk to issue a ‘Writ of Arrest’ against Flomo and subsequently issue another writ, this time of summons, on Flomo’s Demar Enterprise, which is yet to be served on Flomo and his company.
Defendant Flomo is accused of conniving with the suspended NPA Managing Director and her Comptroller, Christiana Kpabar Paelay, to make over US$800,000 in illegal payments to his Demar Enterprise Company.
Flomo is reported to have confessed, during interrogations at the office of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC), that most of the money was deposited in his company’s account at Ecobank.
The LACC reported that Flomo received more than US$10,000 from the deal.
In the indictment, the prosecution alleged defendants Parker and Paelay conspired with co-defendants Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise to defraud government of US$837,950 between July 2011 and December 2012.
They allegedly designed a criminal scheme in which co-defendants Parker and Paelay “awarded two sole source contracts” without the approval of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission.
The contracts awarded Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise to remove wrecks from the Port of Greenville and the provision of security consultancy at the ports of Monrovia, Buchanan and Greenville on behalf of the NPA.
The contracts were valued at U$500,000 and US$300,000 respectively, with claims of fraudulent payments of funds from the accounts of the NPA to co-defendant Flomo for personal use.
Prosecutors claim that defendants Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise did not possess expertise regarding the contracts, and that he and his enterprise did not render the services to the NPA under the US$837,950 contract.