Ex-FIB Staff Tied to US$4M Theft Out on Bail

first_imgThree of the ten First International Bank (FIB) defendants accused of jumping bail have been temporary released from the Monrovia Central Prison on a US$10,000 bond, pending hearing into the merit and demerit of the document.A week after they voluntarily surrendered to the jurisdiction of Criminal Court ‘C,’ defendants Jerman Tegli, Africanus Freeman and Robert Cummings were released last Friday based upon an instruction from Judge Peter Gbeneweleh.The bond was secured by the Family Dollar Universal Insurance.The judge’s action could be traced to 2012 when the defendants were arrested and charged, and are yet to be arraigned to determine the case.They were accused by the bank where they have served in various capacities until 2012, with the commission of several criminal offenses, including theft of property, forgery, money laundering, criminal facilitation and impersonation, for which their employer is seeking a US$4m loss.The defendants were recently declared wanted by the same court, after Sky Insurance Company that first secured a joint bail for the ten of them to be released, asked the court to do so.The insurance company’s withdrawal was due to the defendants’ failure to pay the remaining money owed, though they had paid over US$50,000 to the company.In their latest public appearance on Tuesday at the Temple of Justice, the lead defense lawyer, Cllr. Kanie Wesso, told journalists that his clients’ release was a most “positive development” insofar as the trial is concerned.Cllr. Wesso said prosecution should be blamed for what he considered as “inordinate delay” to assign the case for trial.“What seemed certain is that the prosecution does not have the material evidence to prosecute the men. Instead, they were interested in the merit and demerit of the bond,” the lead defense said.According to him, because of the number of reports on the radio and in print media regarding his clients’ alleged jumping bail, he has opted for the case to be transferred to another county, preferably Gbarpulu County, where he believes the defendants would get a free and transparent hearing.“Can’t you see with all of the publications, if we agree for the case to be tried in Montserrado County, we are going to lose because everybody has the mindset that the defendants committed the crimes? So we are pushing for a change in venue, which is our right under the law,” Cllr. Wesso clarified.The defense lawyer also argued that any further detention order would be illegal and in contempt of court.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img