9 Jurors for LBDI US$22K, LD$288K Theft Case

first_imgProsecutors and defense attorneys yesterday completed the selection of credible men and women who will decide whether Margertta Dorbor stole US$22,567 and LD$288,690 from the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI).Dorbor,  a former employee of the bank could  face a long prison sentence if found guilty,  as Judge Peter Gbeneweleh of Criminal Court ‘C’ yesterday managed the lengthy process which led to the selection of 6 impartial jurors and three alternates from an initial pool of about 100 persons.Prosecutors have brought charges against defendant Dorbor in connection with the 2010 robbery at the bank.A staff of the bank’s Gardnersville branch, Ms. Dorbor also faces dozens of other charges including theft of property, forgery and counterfeiting.Dorbor has pleaded not guilty.Attorneys on Wednesday questioned individual potential jurors who have already passed a lengthy written questionnaire to determine whether the intense media interest in the case has affected their ability to reach an impartial verdict.Opening arguments will resume today, Thursday, February 19.”My job is to apply the law and ensure that justice is done and you are to look at the facts that would be presented during the trial,” Judge Gbeneweleh told a small group of prospective jurors. “I remind you that Dorbor remains innocent.”In court, Dorbor appeared as though she did not care about the prospective jurors who hold her fate in their hands.Wearing a gray long skirt and gray-stripped blouse, she sat on a bench behind her defense team, continuously looking around the courtroom or at the dozens of people sitting a few feet away.In this trial, jurors will first determine Dorbor’s guilt or innocence on dozens of charges. If she is convicted of any theft charges, the same jurors will then separately decide whether she should be sent to long term imprisonment in their moral decision.In December 2010,   Ms. Gloria Menjor, General Manager of the bank, accused Dorbor of filling in a withdrawal slip for US$70,000 in the name of Gardnersville People’s Saving Club and diverting said amount to her personal use without the knowledge and consent of the account holder.She said the scheme was discovered during an audit of the bank’s Gardnersville branch where the defendant was assigned.Contrary to Dorbor’s denial of her involvement, the bank’s general manager insisted that Dorbor admitted withdrawing the amount from the account of the Club and she refunded it paying US$1,000 to the LBDI management for which a receipt was allegedly issued to her.Ms. Menjor also alleged that during the audit, the auditor discovered 200 pieces of US$100 counterfeit bills in a bag owned by   defendant Dorbor.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Govt distances self from $500,000 rent package

first_imgMinister of State Joseph Harmon has announced that the matter involving the payment of house rent for serving Ministers of Government is not addressed at the level of Cabinet, but Parliament.In fact, he said such funds come from that budget of the National Assembly.Harmon was responding to questions on the reason for the payment of such an exorbitant cost for rent for out of town Ministers, especially when there are Government houses available in the Campbellville community.Harmon said he could not give specific details about the rent, as it is a matter for Parliament and the Clerk of the National Assembly. Regarding the availability of houses in Campbellville – Echillibar Villas, a Government community – Harmon said when the Government took office, the properties there had been in a “rundown state”. Since then, he said Government has been spending large sums of money to rehabilitate, adding that “as residences are rehabilitated, then persons are put into them”. He said there are a huge amount of persons in Government service who require Government housing; however, Government is unable to provide it.Meanwhile, Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs earlier this week denied that there was an increase in all housing allowances for Ministers.In an interview with Guyana Times on Tuesday, Isaacs asserted that housing allowances are enshrined in the law and remain set at $25,000. However, he has admitted that a monthly sum of $500,000 was paid for Minister within the Natural Resources Ministry, Simona Broomes, to rent a house on the basis that she lives “out of town.”“The housing allowance was not increased. The law says that Ministers within the Government are entitled to occupy, free of rent, a furnished residence provided by the Government,” Isaacs explained. “So some Ministers have moved into Government residences, they are paid $25,000 a month.”He noted that if State-sponsored housing cannot accommodate any other persons, then they would have to rent. Isaacs noted that the housing allowance is separate from the rental. He added that there were two Ministers who have their rent paid in full.“As far as I know, only two (houses) are being rented for out of town Ministers. That is Minister (Valarie) Patterson and Minister (Simona) Broomes, who was brought by the Government from out of Georgetown. Minister Patterson is from Linden, Minister Broomes is from Bartica.”Meanwhile, Isaacs noted that the decision to have the Parliament office pay the rent for the Ministers, instead of the Office of the President, was taken in a bid to centralise the process. “Payments were done by several Ministries. You had Office of the President paying the electricity and maids, the Ministry of Agriculture paying the gardener… This Administration (decided) to have everything paid from the Parliament office.”The issue of Parliament paying the rent for Minister Broomes came to the fore when she became the subject of a court action initiated by her former landlord, who had taken her to court for rent owed.last_img read more