The testimonies of two Lebanese nationals, Salah Farhat and Ezzat Eid in the ongoing US$1.3 million criminal legal battle between the pair at Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice has raised serious debate as to who is actually proving his side of the accusation.
Eid and Farhat are both partners in the operation of Tayo Motor, a company that imports and sells Chinese manufactured vehicles, where Eid holds 65percent share and Farhat also holds the remaining 35percent share.
Eid also agreed for Salah’s son Tamer to serve as a marketing manager based upon the recommendation of his co-partner, Salah.
But, both Eid and Farhat, in their testimonies claimed that they agreed for Farhat to open his (Farhat) personal account at Ecobank-Liberia in Farhat’s name, apart from the original account they held with the same bank that is in the name of the company, Tayo Motor.
When Eid first testified, he claimed that without his knowledge Farhat allegedly opened another account in his (Farhat) name, where Farhat used to deposit money collected from the sale of Tayo Motor’s vehicles.
The act of Farhat according to Eid caused the company to lose over US$1.3 million, of which he (Eid) is now seeking the court’s approval for Farhat to restitute the money he allegedly stole while serving as managing partner of the Tayo Motor.
But, during his testimony, Farhat admitted to opening an additional account in his name at Ecobank-Liberia.
Farhat testified that it was Eid who suggested that he (Farhat) should open his personal account at Ecobank-Liberia to be used to deposit money that was collected from the operations of Tayo Motor.
Farhat’s argument was that his personal account was used to transfer money in the amount of US$150,160.
Farhat also testified that on March 22, 2016, he transferred US$17,000 to Eid’s company, Madina Development Agency account, a rock crushing company. The amount was collected from another company, Oasis Company that purchased Tayo Motor’s vehicle.
“I used my personal account to pay several other expenses on behalf of Tayo Motor with the knowledge of Eid,” Farhat’s testimony alleges.
Farhat said the opening of the account was meant to facilitate quick payment of salaries to employees of Tayo Motor and to pay several other expenses on behalf of Tayo Motor that was approved by his co-partner, Eid.
Initially, Eid claimed that while auditing Tayo Motor operation, he discovered that Farhat allegedly misapplied over US$1.3million while Farhat was in the management of the company, and based upon that complaint the state prosecutors charged Farhat with multiple crimes that include theft of property, misapplication of entrusted property and criminal conspiracy.
Eid also claimed that between the periods of 2011 up to and including 2018, he and Salah Farhat were friends and members of the World Lebanese Cultural Union of Liberia and when Eid served as president of the Union.
They agreed that Salah’s monthly remuneration for his services as managing partner of Toya Motors should be US$2,000, while his son Tamer, who assisted his father in the running of the business would receive US$1,000 monthly.
Eid also claimed that the Farhats were involved in several other fraudulent activities that cost the company to lose that amount.
He further alleged that Salah used his company’s money to establish another company named Cedar Motors Inc. that is currently engaged in the importation, sale, and distribution of Chinese-manufactured vehicles in the country.
The case continues with Farhat producing witnesses to testify on his behalf.