UNMIL withdraws troops from Grand Gedeh

UNMIL withdraws troops from Grand Gedeh

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The United Nations Mission in Liberia has resumed drawdown of its peacekeeping forces in Liberia, pulling back 80 peacekeeping soldiers…

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Police, AFL officers held for murder

Police, AFL officers held for murder

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The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia, Cllr. Benedict Sarnnoh, has blamed an officer of…

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Transfer ex-rebel generals

Transfer ex-rebel generals

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River Gee County Superintendent, Phillip Jah, has expressed fears that the detention center in Fish Town is unsafe to keep…

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Minister Dukuly tours Millennium Village Projects

Minister Dukuly tours Millennium Village Projects

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The Minister of Internal Affairs, Morris Dukuly, at the head of a team of officials from the Ministry has ended…

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Too soon to celebrate

Too soon to celebrate

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Heads of States meeting at the 47th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS are…

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Auditor General reacts to critics

Auditor General reacts to critics

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Liberia’s General Auditing Commission (GAC) says it has observed that some individuals named in its Audit report on the National…

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SDA breaks grounds for 16 classrooms block in Nimba

SDA breaks grounds for 16 classrooms block in Nimba

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The Seven-Day Adventist or SDA Church Mission in Liberia has broken ground for the construction of a 16 Class-room block,…

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LEC, ELTEL Network sign contract

LEC, ELTEL Network sign contract

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The Liberia Electricity Corporation or LEC, on May 6, 2015, signed an agreement with ELTEL Network - a Sweden-based provider…

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Politics

NPP condemns assault on Representative

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I’m against a ‘Christian State’

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House faces audit

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What happens at Mills Jones’ house?

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Lawmakers hijack development funds?

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Ellen makes new appointments to APRM

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UNMIL worries over security

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CSA to recruit BWI Principal

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PYJ hosts CDC officials in Nimba

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Illegal small arms pose danger

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Dillon want decent work bill past

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Commentary

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The Case for Peace With Iran

22-05-2015 Hits:60 Commentary  - avatar

NEW YORK – The nuclear framework agreement between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia) plus Germany is...

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Smokeless China

21-05-2015 Hits:78 Commentary  - avatar

BEIJING – In a few weeks, Beijing will implement a city-wide ban on smoking in all indoor public spaces, such as restaurants and offices, as well as on tobacco advertising...

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Western Politics’ Locust Years

19-05-2015 Hits:74 Commentary Mohamed A. El-Erian - avatar Mohamed A. El-Erian

NEW YORK – Since my teenage years, I have been fascinated by the permutations and machinations of national politics. Today, I find myself focusing on broader political trends that also...

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Sports

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Coca-Cola joins LFA sponsorship

12-05-2015

Coca-Cola joins LFA sponsorship

The President of the Liberia Football Association, Musa Billity says the Liberia Coco-Cola Bottling Company has partnered with the GSM Company, Cellcom to sponsor the national league.

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BYC qualify for semifinals

06-05-2015

BYC qualify for semifinals

The champions of the Liberia football Association national league and the FA super cup Barrack Young Controllers, (BYC) have qualified for the semi finals of the Coco-Cola top eight tournament.

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U-23 Lone Star plays return legs Saturda…

30-04-2015

U-23 Lone Star plays return legs Saturday

After their 2-0 defeat Sunday, 26 April to Ghana’s U-23 in Tamale, Northern Region, the U-23 Lone Star of Liberia are gearing up for the second leg this Saturday, 2nd...

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Defendants Stanley Johnson, Zobon Gbanjah, alias Konakey and co-defendants Glen Washington, David Yenego, Mandela Kaiser and Othello Smith are jointly indicted on multiple crimes, ranging from theft, misapplication of entrusted property to criminal facilitation and criminal conspiracy.

Following the defendants’ denial Monday, prosecuting lawyer Cllr. Theophilous T.C. Gould begged the court to order its sheriff to qualify jurors in the proceedings to face the defendants on the charges.

Though defense lawyers interposed no objection to prosecution’s request, the trial court suspended the jury selection process for Wednesday, August 22, 2012, while preparations are being made ahead of the jury sequestration or selection.

Last week, Court “C” denied defense lawyers’ request to separately prosecute Stanley Johnson and Zobon Gbanjah from the rest of the co-defendants, including Glen Washington, David Yenego, Mandela Kaiser and Othello Smith.

Prosecution’s amended indictment claims that in May, June, August and November 2011 respectively, the enlisted defendants allegedly engaged in double transfer of cash, first to Ecobank’s customers’ accounts including City Builders and Bah Corporation, and then to a personal account, bearing account number 12910412742011 owned by one Ruth Sawmadal, which was opened by the bank’s branch in Grand Bassa County.

The alleged transfer amounted to US$378,676.26 into Ruth’s account and was discovered by Ecobank during yearly reconciliation.

But defense counsels Attorneys Arthur T. Johnson and Swahilo Sesay, representing Stanley and Zobon contended that the indictment did not state co-defendant Zobon jointly conspired with the other co-defendants and that there was no cause to believe that he committed a crime.

The defense lawyers also insisted that co-defendant Stanley Johnson’s area of assignment and responsibilities were separate and far from the other defendants’ and that there was no evidence to link him to any ‘joint criminal emperor.’

In resisting the defense’s request, the prosecuting lawyers, comprising Cllr. Theophilus T.C. Gould and others representing Ecobank-Liberia, pointed out that jointly prosecuting Stanley and Zobon along with the other accused does not infringe on their rights (Stanley’s and Zobon’s) because they all jointly committed the crime, even if they did it at separate locations.

Prosecutors claimed that as head for Reconciliation at EcoBank, defendant Stanley harmonized all accounts and identified conflicts or shortages in reporting; therefore, he had to connive in consent with the other co-defendants for the perfection of their criminal plan.

Prosecution also wondered why the defense’s submission was contradictory on grounds that in one count, it wanted the amended indictment dismissed, and yet asking for separate trials in another count.

The state lawyers argued that a party desirous of a pre-trial motion should file same and serve other parties in not less than 24 hours before it is noticed to be heard, which was not done; therefore, the court should deny and ignore defense’s submission for separate trial.

Besides, the state lawyers said the amended indictment certainly has the names by application of law of co-defendants Stanley Johnson and Zobon Gbanjah [Konakey] as reflected in every count of the indictment.

However, Criminal Court “C” Judge Peter W. Gbenewleh denied defense submission, saying the counsels did not show how the rights and interests of their clients would be prejudiced in a joint trial.

Judge Gbenewleh recalled that prosecutors’ amended indictment alleges among other things that co-defendants Glen Washington, David Yenego, Mandela Kaiser and Othello Smith, Stanley Johnson and Zobon Gbanjah [Konakey] jointly committed the crime.

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