The long awaited US$800,000 economic sabotage case involving suspended Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Madam Matilda Parker and two others, failed to take place yesterday, due to their lawyers’ late request to Criminal Court ‘C’ for an extension.
Parker together with her Comptroller, Madam Christiana Kpabar Paeley and Mr. Deneah Flomo, the proprietor of Denmar Enterprises, was expected to appear yesterday to answer to the multiple charges which include theft of property, economic sabotage and criminal conspiracy.
Unfortunately, when the defendants appeared before the court, a member of their legal team, Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull, asked the court not to proceed with the case.
According to Cllr. Bull, her clients have not received all the materials in the possession of the prosecution to satisfy the requirement under due process, to enable her to adequately defend the charges.
She further argued that under the law, the accused need to be informed of all of the nature and substance of the charges, which she said were still in the possession of state lawyers.
Beside their argument, the defense team filed two separate Motions one for Discovery and the other for Severance (separate trial) an hour to the beginning of the case.
However, those requests were seriously rejected by the prosecution.
Judge Dixon in his ruling on the merit and demerit of the two requests openly said, “It is true that the defense team filed a Motion for Discovery on November 10, (yesterday) at 9:00am. The defense team also filed another Motion for Severance (separate trial) at 9:30 am.”
Further he said, “The prosecution must be given the time to respond to the two motions so as to enable the court to make a determination.”
“Based on their request,” said Judge Dixon, “We would not arraign the defendants to answer to their charges, because prosecution has not agreed to or rejected the two motions.
“In the interest of transparent justice the matter is postponed until Thursday, November 12, at 11: 00 a.m. so as to give the government chance to respond to the separate requests.”
A legal expert who spoke under condition of anonymity hinted to the Daily Observer that the motion for severance trial was crafted, on grounds that it prevents Mr. Deneah Flomo, the proprietor of the Denmar Enterprises from being tried along with the other two defendants.
“This is why Flomo himself was not present for the hearing yesterday,” the expert alleged.
Co-defendant Flomo is the most important person in the case, because, according to the indictment, “between July 2011 to December 2012, Co-Defendants Matilda Parker and Christina KpabarPaelay, then Managing Director and Comptroller of the National Port Authority (NPA), defrauded by designing a criminal scheme whereby they awarded two source contracts without the approval of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) to Deneah M. Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise on behalf of the National Port Authority.”
The document alleged that the contract was for the removal of wrecks from the Port of Greenville, and the provision of security consultancy at the Ports of Monrovia, Buchanan, and Greenville, valued at US$500,000 and US$300,000, respectively.
The indictment further said they made fraudulent payments of funds from the accounts of the National Port Authority, (NPA) to Deneah M. Flomo, for their personal use and benefits, for expertise Mr. Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise did not possess, and services which were never rendered by Mr. Flomo and his entity to the National Port Authority (NPA) under the two contracts worthUS$800,000.