Confusion reigned in the Criminal Court ‘C’ yesterday when a prosecution witness gave evidence that seemingly contradicted a statement he gave during his testimony on Monday, February 23.
Francis Jomah, the prosecution’s first witness, initially testified during examination by state lawyers that he discovered in a carton a plastic bag containing a huge amount of counterfeit US dollar notes, about 200 pieces all in US$100 bills, amounting to a total of US$20,000.
He also added that the counterfeit money was found under the desk of defendant Margretta Dorbor, who was an employee of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) and on trial for counterfeiting, theft of property and forgery.
Jomah conducted the audit that allegedly discovered the US$20,000 counterfeit money, under the desk of defendant Dorbor.
But when Jomah was cross examined by the defense team yesterday, he alleged that it was a business woman to whom defendant Dorbor credited a phone valued at US$100 and promised to pay in a week’s time, and who told him that the defendant paid her in counterfeit money.
“The business woman brought this to our attention when defendant Dorbor was arrested with the counterfeit money,” he said in his testimony yesterday, adding, “she paid me in a counterfeit US$100 and I did not know that the money was a counterfeit until I went to deposit it into my account with my bank (another bank). It was there that I was informed that the money was counterfeit.”
His statement then drew the court’s attention to the contradiction between the lady’s evidence and the one he gave to the Grand Jury for Montserrado County that indicted defendant Dorbor of theft of property, forgery and counterfeiting in 2011.
According to the statement, he said, “that after it had come to the attention of the manager of LBDI that the defendant had been tampering with depositors’ money, an audit at the Gardnersville branch of the bank where the defendant worked was ordered.”
He further explained that “upon arriving at the Gardnersville branch on December 10, 2010, at 8 a.m., auditor Jomah observed a huge quantity of cash in the amount of Liberian dollars $23,715 under the desk of the defendant in a plastic bag in a small carton and Ghana must go bag.”
The document stated that “Auditor Jomah also observed that in the plastic bag was also a huge consignment of counterfeit, 200 pieces, all in US$100 bills making a total of US$20,000.”
Also, the indictment did not say that defendant Dorbor was present in person when Jomah conducted the audit.
But, during his cross-examination, when he was asked by a juror, where was defendant Dorbor during his audit?
Jomah responded: “When I was carrying out the inventory of defendant Dorbor she was present.”
Interestingly, defendant Dorbor denied all of the allegations, including the alleged counterfeit discovered under her desk.
In his testimony, Jomah made it clear that defendant Dorbor was not assigned at the teller booth and she was not responsible to authorize the payment of money from the bank to customers.
“The defendant was only responsible to open an account for new customers of the bank, but she chose to play the role of a teller and a person who authorized the payment of money to customers,” Jomah further alleged. The trial continues.