Criminal Court “C” at Temple of Justice has denied three former employees of GT-Bank who were accused of stealing US$126,219 of acquittal.
The trial of the former employees has continued in Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice as the defendants requested judgment of acquittal by the court.
The employees include Montmorancy Yancy, Stanley Yorsee and Emmanuel Togba.
However, Judge Emery S. Paye of Criminal Court “C” denied the defendants’ request for judgment of acquittal on Thursday, September 15, and ordered that they take the witness’ stand to answer to the charges levied against them by the bank.
Prior to the judge’s decision, the defendants’ lawyers filed a motion requesting the court to set the defendants free because according to the lawyers, the testimonies and evidences produced by state prosecutors were saturated with speculation, uncertainty and generally characterized by flaws which the lawyer claimed, raises serious doubts and as such, the court should operate in favor of the defendants.
The defense team stated that the alleged huge loss the bank suffered with respect to customers’ transactions was as the result of negligence from the bank.
“As the result of negligence in handling customers’ transactions and as a way of covering up for said losses, the bank has incriminated her employees for the commission of the crimes,” the defend lawyers noted.
The defendants stand trial for crimes including theft of property, misapplication of entrusted property, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation.
According to the indictment, between May 28, 2015, up to and including June 29, 2015, at the GT-Bank, co-defendant MontmorancyYancy, then serving as posting teller within the entity, criminally conspired with two other employees – Stanley Yorsee and Emmanuel L. Togba – to steal the money intended to be deposited into Total Liberia Inc.’s account at GT-Bank without the knowledge and approval of the management of the bank.
The indictment also stated that between May and June 2015, several Total gas stations, including A. Jawara located at Jacob Town, Wroto Town, A. kaba Congo Town, Rehab Station and Tarr Town with the intent to deposit, made several deposits totaling US$126,219 into Total Liberia’s account at GT-bank.
Defendant Yancy should have posted said deposits into Total Liberia’s account at GT-Bank, but instead, he knowingly conspired with co-defendants Stanley Yorsee and Emmanuel L. Togba to take the cash, thereby depriving the bank of said deposits done by its customers.
According to the bank’s policy, during the business day, the bulk tellers take the cash received from customers to the posting tellers. In the instant case, defendant Montmorancy received and verified the cash and signed the logs indicating that he received the US$126,219.
Additionally, co-defendant Stanley Yorsee, head of operations, who also cosigned said logs, was under obligation to ensure that the total cash received by Montmorancy was posted into Total Liberia’s account at the bank and to confirm said posting by affixing his signature, but instead criminally joined co-defendants Montmorancy and Emmanuel to steal the money.
In furtherance of their criminal scheme, co-defendant Emmanuel was instructed by Yancy and Yorsee to take away the logs from the bank in which those deposits were recorded to destroy evidence.
The US$126,219 in question was later reportedly used by the defendants to credit some individuals and employees as loans for interest without the knowledge and authorization from the bank’s management.
W/African Anti-Corruption Chiefs Meet In Monrovia
More than sixty Anti-Corruption practitioners and goverment officials from West Africa will gather in Monrovia next week for a three-day regional workshop on Whistleblower and Witness Protection.
The meeting will be attended by heads of Anti-Corruption bodies, Police Chiefs from West Africa, Parlimentarians with oversight on corruption issues and representatives from international organizations involved with Whistleblower and Witness Protection activities.
The three-day regional gathering seeks to increase the knowledge of participants about the systems to protect whistleblowers and witnesses, to share experiences and lessons learned from other countries within the region and beyond on whistleblower and witness protection as well as identify practical priority actions for West African countries in relations to whistleblower and witness protection.
The exercise which is being organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the LACC and the Network of National Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA), brings together various stakeholders from West African countries to discuss specific challenges in protecting reporting persons and witnesses, to raise awareness about concepts and measures used in other countries, their strength and limitations.
The regional workshop comes against the background that, despite increased awareness about the need to enact whistleblower and witness protection legislation and other measures, there is still a lack of technical knowledge on how to device such legislation, good practices and issues to be considered in devising such legislation. Moreover, most countries have some form of general protection provided in their anti-corruption laws, but these provisions remain very vague and usually don’t provide sufficient protection for whistleblowers and witnesses.