A day after prosecution’s second witness, Deneah Martin Flomo, gave account of how he encashed several checks from the former National Port Authority Managing Director, Matilda Parker, he failed to appear in court Friday.
Flomo’s absence, according to state lawyers, was because of an illness he suffered following his testimony last Wednesday.
When the news of Flomo’s sickness broke out in the courtroom, the defense team expressed skepticism concerning the truthfulness of the illness, claiming “it was intended to delay the case and to frustrate the interest of justice.”
Besides that, the prosecution asked for postponement of the trial because their witness was unable to appear before the court and jury to testify due to his declining situation.
The defense contended that prosecutors did not give the name of the hospital where Flomo was seeking medication and there was no medical clearance to establish that the witness was undergoing treatment.
Their contention was denied by Judge Blamo Dixon, who later rescheduled the matter for hearing today, Monday, January 18.
Judge Dixon said, “Everybody can get sick, so if prosecutors say that their witness is ill, who are we to deny it?”
Prior to Flomo’s testimony a deal was reached with the government to have him testify against co-defendants Matilda Parker and her Comptroller Christiana Kpabar Paelay in exchange for immunity.
Flomo has been enjoying state security protection since he appeared before the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC) and revealed that he was the person allegedly used by Parker and Paelay in the over US$800,000 contract deal.
Besides, Flomo has never been arrested and he remains government most important witness. After his testimony last Wednesday, he was guided by plainclothes agents.
Prosecutors had early alleged that Flomo owed the Denmar Enterprise which they claimed the defendants hired to execute two contracts to remove wreck from the Greenville Port and to provide security consultancy for the sea port security, which, according to them, over US$800,000 was paid to Flomo’s company for said works, which he did not perform.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and have maintained that at no time they contracted Flomo and his company for wreck removal and port security consultancy on behalf of the NPA.
The case continues.