Liberian government to arrest corrupt officials
Liberia’s Solicitor General S. Syrenius Cephas has disclosed the government’s plan to carry out more arrests of former and current government officials suspected of alleged corrupt acts in the coming months.
Cephas claimed that at the moment, the prosecution team under his watch, is investigating multiple allegations of corruption against several former and current government officials.
He stressed that anyone alleged to be culpable will be arrested and detained no matter who is involved.
Solicitor General Cephas told this newspaper on the grounds of the Temple of Justice in an exclusive interview that since the birth of the country no prosecution team has gotten the support from government like the one he now heads.
The country’s Chief Prosecutor indicated that President George Weah wants to develop the country but is faced with many challenges because the wealth of the country is being stolen by corrupt government officials.
“I don’t joke when I say I am coming for you. I will get you; we go after corrupt ministers, directors who have stolen public funds. If you are caught in the GAC Report for corruption beware,” Cephas said.
Cephas indicated that to show Liberians at home and abroad that the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government is serious in cleaning the system of corruption, IT forensic experts are in the country to work with the prosecution in the collection of pieces of evidence on corrupt government officials.
Asked if should any of the indictees agree to pay back whatsoever he or she is alleged to have stolen, what would the response be?. He stated that no one of those so far indicted has come up with such a suggestion, though it is a fine idea. However, he maintains that such a person would still be dragged to court to make a confession and thereafter given a suspended sentence.
In the current on-going Economic Sabotage case involving five Central Bank officials, Cephas bragged that the prosecution is not going to drop charges on any of the indicted officials to testify on behalf of the state because the evidence against all five is strong that prosecution will not choose to take that direction.
‘When you look in the crowd, one of them there has taken so much but when we finish with this case, when government money is lying down in the office or anywhere no one will touch it,” he emphasized.
The five central bank officials, who are on trial on charges of money laundering, economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy and facilitation, are former CBL Executive Governor Milton Weeks, former Deputy Governor for Operations, Charles Sirleaf, Director of Finance Department, Dorbor Hagba, Director Operations, Richard Walker and Deputy Director for Internal Audit Joseph Dennis.
Charles Sirleaf is son of former Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The Central Bank officials were indicted after the Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) set up by President George Weah to probe the alleged missing L$16billion printed by the Crane Currency AB of Sweden and brought to the country.