The rial of Arab Kamara, the man accused of stealing 500 of the 800 acres of land, valued at US$4 million, began on Wednesday, February 12, at the Criminal Court ‘C’, at the Temple of Justice.
The land allegedly belongs to the intestate estate of the late Elizabeth Moore Johnson.
The estate is situated in Virginia, Montserrado County.
Defendant Kamara, a Sierra Leonean and a registered licensed surveyor of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), was charged with the commission of the crime, Theft of Property.
Several personalities including businessman Sam Gibson, owner of Krystal Oceanview Hotel, former Finance Minister Emmanuel Shaw, as well as former President Charles Taylor are believed to have purchased some of the 500 acres.
Wearing a stripy blue and white long sleeves shirt when he appeared before Judge Dixon, he pleaded not guilty to the crime, after the indictment was real to him in open court Wednesday, February 12.
At Wednesday’s hearing prosecution and defense team completed the selection of a 9-member panel (jurors) to assist in the determination of the matter.
After the juror selection, Judge Dixon warned them not to communicate with any of the parties to the case, including himself.
He, however, adjoined the matter to Thursday, February 13. In the complaint, late Johnson’s children claimed that in 1977, the defendant was appointed to serve as surveyor of the family’s estate.
Following that appointment the defendant was entrusted with the mother’s deed, map and diagram of said property.
Prior to the death of Madam Johnson the indictment said defendant Kamara without authorization criminally sold 500 acres of land of the estate, valued as US$4 million, while they were seeking refuge in the United States of America in 1980.