MONROVIA, Montserrado – State security on Tuesday rearrested Charles Sirleaf, Milton Weeks, and their co-defendants in the over printing of new Liberian dollar banknotes case.
The defendants had been released after criminal bonds were paid in March. However, they were ordered rearrested by Criminal Court C after the government indicted them for economic sabotage, as a new addition to their previous indictment. Also rearrested were the Central Bank’s director of banking, Dorbor Hagba; Richard Walker; and Joseph Dennis, who are also currently indicted for their alleged involvement in printing of excess Liberian dollar banknotes.
They were earlier indicted for multiple crimes, including, theft of property, economic sabotage, misuse of public money, criminal conspiracy, and criminal facilitation, and illegal disbursement of public money.
The government has also indicted Crane Currency and SE-14782 Tubman Sweden for their alleged roles in the commission of the crimes.
According to the new 15-count indictment, the defendants knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally colluded and conspired with a wicked intent to launder money and sabotage the Liberian economy while at the same time defrauding the government of more than L$2.6 billion.
The new indictment lifts a new case, different from the existing trial, which was supposed to begin on Tuesday at the Temple of Justice. The defendants were arrested minutes after their appearance in court.
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s hearing has been postponed to Thursday, August 22.
Criminal Court C Judge Blamo Dixon informed the prosecution to present their evidence to prosecute the defendants in 72 hours before the next day of the trial to enable the defense lawyers to prepare ahead to defend their clients.
The indictment accused the defendants of signing contracts that were consummated in 2016 and 2017, in ignorance and in violation of the law.
Sirleaf, through his legal counsel, filed a motion to admit him to bail on medical grounds and has been released as he is awaiting trial at Criminal Court C. The other defendants are currently incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison.
Featured photo by Miama Morine Pewee