MONROVIA—The US$1.2M Insurance Bond filed last week by the Family Dollar Universal Insurance by Company to have the two NPA officials temporarily released hit rock bottom when prosecutors questioned the validity of the company’s assets to serve as surety for Matilda Parker and Christiana Paeley.
The Criminal Court “C” at the Temple Of Justice was a scene of tense argument Monday as state lawyers battled the defense team of Matilda Parker as they sought to trash the $1.2m insurance bond filed on behalf of Parker and Christiana Pailey. Prosecutors told the court that in order for an insurance company to serve as a surety, it must show the evidence of asset.
“When a defendant presents an insurance company as his/her surety in any criminal case, a clearance from the Ministry of Finance evidencing that taxes have been paid and evidence of assets of the insurance company to commensurate with the amount charged in the writ or indictment” said the prosecution.
Contrary to the prosecution’s claim, an official of the Family Dollar Universal Insurance Monday appeared at the Criminal Court ”C” at the Temple of Justice where he told the court that the Insurance company has the assets to serve as a surety. At a hearing into the motion to justify the US$1.2M bond, the Underwrite Manager of the Family Dollar Insurance Company, George Gbormoi, testified that the Insurance Company has been certificated and licensed to operate by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) since March 30, 2014.
“The requirement needed by the CBL to license you to operate as an insurance company is US$400,000 cash, US$350,000 in property and that which the Family Dollar Insurance Company has met. Also, to be licensed by the CBL, the entity must produce a reassurance entity valued at US$750,000, which the insurance has met”, said Gbormoi.
“All have to tell this court is that the Family Dollar Universal Insurance Company has the assets to serve as surety for the defendants to produce them in court whenever they are needed”. Gbormoi continued that what puzzled him about the prosecution’s claim that it has issued several bonds to the court was not true and wondered why the state should attributed the Family Dollars Insurance Company to other insurance companies when the company has no link to any.
Following his testimony, the lead lawyer of the defense counsel and former River Gee Senator, Federick Cherue, asked the court to take judicial notice of all documents in the possession of witness Gbormoi . State lawyers under the guidance of Solicitor General Betty Larmin Blamo and assisted by Montserrado County Attorney Daku Mulbah resisted the application and called on the court not to do same.
The state lawyers counter-argued that for a document to be admitted into evidence and endorsed by the court, it must be reviewed by the respondent. Solicitor General Blamo who closed the prosecution’s argument wondered why the defense lawyers could call for their documents to be admitted into evidence when they have presented two different tax clearances, one dated March 2, 2015 and another June 2015.
“Your honor, the defense has asked to admit their documents into evidence when we have not seen it. One of the tax clearances is dated March 2, 2015 and another June 2015 – which one is real?” wondered the Solicitor General. She accused the Family Dollar Insurance Company, which its authority claimed was established 2014, of issuing insurance bond in another court in 2012 and said that the state will ensured that the clerk of that court come forward to testify to that fact.
After listening to the pros and cons of the argument, the presiding Judge Peter Gbeneweleh denied the application to accept the documents on ground that a witness under oath must be crossed examined by the other party terming the defense’s application as a procedural error.
“We cannot go ahead and take judicial notice of document from this Insurance Company until said witness is crossed examined, therefore the application is denied” said Judge Gbeneweleh who ordered the case re-scheduled for Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at 2PM. Suspended NPA boss Parker and Comptroller have been indicted for awarding over US$800, 000.00 to dredge the National Port Authority allegedly to a bogus company. FPA
Kennedy L. Yangian Kennedy
Cllr. Betty Lamin Blamo pi: www.liberianconnect.com