The Presiding Judge of Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Peter W. Gbenewelleh, has denied and dismissed the motion for acquittal filed by five former employees of FDA who are on trial on charges of economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, forgery and counterfeiting that robbed the government of US$6 million.
Those facing prosecution are former FDA Managing Director Moses Wogbeh, John Kantor, former FDA Technical Manager; Jangar Kamara, former Manager for Commercial Forestry; David Blayee, former Surveyor and Maxwell Gwee, former Director of Cartography at the Lands, Mines and Energy Ministry.
Handing down the final ruling Wednesday, Judge Gbenewelleh said a careful perusal of the testimonies before the court show the role played by each of the defendants in the commission of the alleged offenses, adding that the land rental fees prescribed by the controlling statute will be applied by the court in the determination of the actual land rental fee due the government of Liberia.
In the motion for acquittal, the defense lawyer argued that the prosecution in an attempt to establish a prima facie case against them as laid down in the indictment, produced nine regular witnesses and several special witnesses, none of whose testimonies is conclusive against any of the defendants to sustain conviction.
The defense lawyer further said that from the evidence produced, prosecution has “failed miserably” to establish their case beyond all reasonable doubts, noting that they lack the basic legal requirements for a conviction.
He further said that the judge is a jury of the facts and a judge of the law and will like the defendants to testify if they so desire to disprove the allegations as contained in the indictment and testimonies of the prosecution before determining the general issues in the case.
Meanwhile, the case continues today at the Temple of Justice. By Comfort M. Johnson-LINA