Judge Blamo Dixon at the Criminal Court C last Wednesday discontinued the hearing in the economic sabotage case involving former NPA comptroller Christiana Kpabar Paelay and her former boss Madam Matilda Parker, to hear the merit of prosecutors’ request to disband the jury.
It was filed under the caption, “Application to Disband the Jury.” Judge Dixon did not give a reason for the prosecutors’ action but said he would hear it on Monday.
But minutes after defendant Paelay heard Judge Dixon’s adjournment she broke down and began to walk back and forth in the courtroom, crying “I ‘m dead. They have destroyed my reputation, because I would not get the opportunity to defend myself.”
Defendant Paelay went on: “I would not be able to get employment because those interested in employing me heard about my indictment; and subsequent disbandment of the jury without me testifying, they will not give me the opportunity to work in their entity.”
“I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) trained in the United States and with such news about me what do you think people will say?”
In tears she denied extra marital relations with the prosecution’s key witness, Deneah Martin Flomo, who in his testimony claimed that defendant Paelay forced him into extra marital affairs with her.
“I did not have extra marital affairs with Deneah and I was never given the opportunity to clear my name of this lie,” she stated in tears.
“Look, my people, all my children have suffered from this lie, likewise my family.”
She pleaded with journalists in the courtroom. “Print this in your newspaper, tell the people that I am crying because I‘m treated unjustly.”
Paelay later left the courtroom with the intervention of one of her lawyers, Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull.
As for Parker, she left the courtroom without saying a word as soon as Judge Dixon announced the postponement of the case.
The prosecutors presented their request to Judge Dixon exactly thirty minutes prior to the commencement of the case on Wednesday.
Their request to disband came after they had allowed six of their witnesses to testify in the case. The jury has been heavily guarded by officers of the Liberia National Police and the court’s staff.
Judge Dixon said, “The court affords the defense team time to file its resistance to the said application whether on the minutes of the court or through writing.”
After that statement Judge Dixon asked the defense team to respond and Cllr. Musa Dean argued that the court should give his team 48 hours to make public their reaction.
According to him, their decision for additional time should not be taken as an attempt to delay the proceedings instead, “it was made in good faith.”
Both Paeley and Parker are being tried for their individual roles in duping the NPA of alleged US$837,950, for contracts to remove wreck from the Greenville Port in Sinoe County and security consultancy to port security awarded to Denmar Enterprise, money which prosecution claimed was paid but the work never performed.