Justice Yussif Kaba It took the government over seven months to get close to the end of a bond strife for five current and former officials of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) on trial for their alleged involvement in the ‘missing’ L$16 billion.The impasse was resolved on Wednesday, September 4, when Chamber Justice Yussif Kaba revoked his alternative writ of certiorari issued on Monday, September 2, to review the judgment of Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’, who is presiding over the trial of the case.Judge Dixon had earlier remanded former CBL governor Milton Weeks and two other co-defendants, including Richard H. Walker, director for operations, and Dorbor M. Hagba, director for finance, at the Monrovia Central Prison, until they can file a new bail each in the amount of L$1,058,000,000.Dixon also released the two other defendants, Joseph Dennis, deputy director of Internal Audit and Deputy Governor for Operations, Charles Sirleaf on medical grounds, but with an order to pay their L$1,058,000,000 within a week.Dixon’s action was due to a new charge of money laundering brought against the defendants, adding yet another accusation to a series of corruption charges against the CBL’s officials.However, Justice Kaba said that the defendants should surrender their passports or all of their travel documents to the office of the sheriff. He also warned that “the defendants (petitioners) should not travel beyond the cities of Brewerville, Paynesville and the Atlantic Ocean.” He added that the defendants should report to the sheriff’s office weekly, each Friday.Initially, Weeks filed a property evaluation bond to the amount of US$909,319.88 to secure his release from pre-trial detention, while the Accident and Casualty Insurance Company (ACICO) secured the bond for Charles E. Sirleaf, deputy governor in the amount of US$60,000.The company also secured a US$60,000 bond for Richard Walker, director for operations, Joseph Dennis, deputy director for internal audit and Dorbor Hagba, director of finance.Those bonds were to secure their release on the first charges, which include economic sabotage and theft of property. Later, the prosecution added a new charge of money laundering, which Dixon set the bail to L$1,058,000,000, leaving to the defense team to appeal against the new bail before Justice Dixon.The charges were brought based on the release of the USAID-backed Kroll report, and the report by the Special Presidential Investigation Team (PIT), which uncovered a wide-range of discrepancies in the printing of new Liberian banknotes worth billions of LRD, and the controversial disbursement of US$25 million intended to be infused into the economy to curb the rising exchange rate between the Liberian and US dollars.It is yet unknown when the trial of the case will resume.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Retailers boosted inventories by 0.3 percent. That reflected gains in many categories but declines at auto dealers. Manufacturers raised inventories by 0.1 percent. The latest reports provide fresh figures showing that the economy was not performing as well as previously thought at the turn of the year. Analysts said the slowdown in retail sales in January was not too worrisome given that it followed a 1.2 percent surge in December sales. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a new high. The Dow closed up 87.01 points at a new record of 12,741.86. It was the 28th record close since the start of October. A string of weaker-than-expected numbers is causing economists to reduce their estimates for overall growth, as measured by the gross domestic product, for the final three months of last year. They now believe that the GDP was growing at an annual rate of just 2.5 percent, a full percentage point below the government’s initial estimate of 3.5 percent GDP growth in the final quarter of 2006. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Retail sales, hurt by a big drop in auto purchases, slowed at the start of the year and business inventories turned in the poorest showing in 17 months. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that retail sales essentially were flat in January, the poorest performance since a 0.2 percent decline in October. Business inventories, the department said, basically were unchanged in December at $1.37 trillion, $147 million less than in November. It was the weakest showing for inventories since they fell by 0.4 percent in July 2005. The inventory report included a 0.5 percent plunge in stockpiles held by wholesalers.