Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Liberia’s Former Defense Minister, Deputies convicted for corruption


Former Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai and his two former deputies have been found guilty by Criminal Court C at the Temple of Justice for the crimes of “misuse of public money, theft of property, and criminal conspiracy”. But they were acquitted of economic sabotage.

However, Cllr. Michael Watkins Wright, who represents the defendants, immediately took an appeal following the rendition of the judgment by the Circuit court C judge.

This means an appeal is expected to be filed with the Supreme Court, which will review the judgment.

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Defendant Samukai was indicted along with his two former deputies – Joseph F. Johnson, former Deputy Minister for Administration and J. Nyumah Dorkor, former Comptroller.

The trio was indicted for the crimes of misuse of public money, theft of property, money laundering, economic sabotage and criminal conspiracy. But they pleaded not guilty.

“Defendants J. Brownie Samukai Jr., Joseph F. Johnson and James Nyumah Dorkor are hereby adjudged guilty of the crimes of Theft of Property, Misused of Public Money and Criminal Conspiracy,” said Judge Gbeisay on Tuesday, 24 March.

“The defendants are hereby ordered to restitute the amount of US$687,656.35 to the AFL pension saving account and US$460, 000 to the Government of Liberia account, making a sum total of US$1,147,656.35.”

At the same time, the Judge dropped the charge of economic sabotage, saying: “This court having not seen enough evidence of Economic Sabotage and Money Laundering, the both charges are hereby ordered dismissed.”

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Meanwhile, “Sentence will be announced pending pre-sentence investigation in obedience to Chapter 31, section 31.5 of the Criminal Procedure Law,” the Judge said.

“The Clerk of this court is therefore, hereby ordered to communicate with the probation service of Montserrado County to proceed to conduct pre-sentence investigation of the defendants here in and report to this court in 15 days as of today’s date.”


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