Arah Kamara, a University of Liberia (UL) lecturer, who testified he did not sell a portion of 500 acres of land from the Intestate Estate of the late Elizabeth Moore Johnson valued at US$4Million, was found guilty on Friday, March 21, of theft of property.
Criminal Court C’s six-member jury, which heard weeks of testimony and final arguments, deliberated over three hours before returning with a guilty verdict on the theft of property charge.
Kamara bowed his head as the guilty verdict was read by the jury. He could receive a five-year imprisonment sentence.
He was hired as a surveyor for the property and allegedly took advantage of the family’s absence in the United State of America (USA) after fleeing the coup of 1980.
At one point, he turned to look at where the late Madam Moore-Johnson’s children and grand children were seated.
One of the grand daughters, Haster Baker, broke down into tears when the jury’s verdict was read and shouted “justice has been done! We trusted him so very much; we even took him as a member of our family. Look at the way he repaid our kindness, look at what he did to us.”
“Thank God that our late parents who suffered for this property will now rest in peace,” Madam Baker tearfully praised her God.
During his closing arguments on Friday, prosecutor Theophilus Gould’s description of Kamara’s attitude was so vivid that the children of the late Madam Moore-Johnson were reduced to tears.
In the moments leading up to the verdict, the children chanted “Justice for the late Johnson,” in the courtroom.
It was stated that while serving as surveyor of the Intestate Estate from 1975 up to 1980, defendant Kamara, without permission, took the map and deeds of the property and sold nearly half of the 500 acres of land valued at US$4Milion, an accusation which he denied.
Prosecution during the trial produced five witnesses, including Madam Haster Baker and three rebuttal witnesses.
While the defense team produced two witnesses including Arah Kamara and three special witnesses including the former Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Foday Kromah, who was allowed to testify through a voice recorder.