-Says LACC boss
By Olando Testimony Zeongar
MONROVIA – Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC’s) Executive Chairperson, Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin has hinted that the Government of the United States of America (USA) may assist Liberia in extraditing the suspended manager of the Buchanan Sea Port, Charles McArthur D. Gull, who absconded the country recently.
Amid the announcement of a travel ban on Gull and four others, he reportedly escaped the country through Liberia’s border with neighboring Sierra Leone, and is believed to presenting be in the USA.
Gull recently confessed to instigators, of stealing over a half of a million U.S. dollars, belonging to the Buchanan Sea Port, and transferred the cash into a personal bank account, according to Malcolm Scott, Public Relations Director of the National Port Authority (NPA).
Addressing what the LACC terms a major press conference Monday, Cllr. Martin, who said his Commission at the time had not been able to authenticate the veracity of reports of Gull’s escape from the country, noted that when it is later confirmed that he (Gull) really fled Liberia, there are available to the LACC remedy in law, for such matter; indicating that “If and only if the information is true, we have with us a remedy in law – and after investigation, if he cannot be seen, based on our invitation we sent, the investigation will go on.”
The LACC’s Executive Chairperson added that if the investigation is conducted in Gull’s absence, and it clearly indicates that the act for which he had been investigated for was indeed committed by the escaped manager of the Buchanan Sea Port, the matter will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, which will then review the LACC’s report on such investigation and revert to the Commission that will rely on the Grand Jury to draw up an indictment, if there is an established probable cause to do so.
Thereafter, Cllr. Martin intimated that if the indictment is drawn up, holding the escapee culpable and liable for the alleged act for which he was investigated, the matter will be forwarded to the court, which then assume jurisdiction over the matter.
“The Court [then] issues a writ of arrest – that writ of arrest is what we will pray for, for a red flag to be sent to our countries that this man is wanted for an act he committed in Liberia. If we can identify the country in which he is residing under surreptitious means, it can go through a process of extradition,” said the LACC’s boss, who averred that that was one of the main issues discussed, when U.S. Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Michael McCarty recently paid him a courtesy visit at his LACC offices, and pledged his government’s fullest support to the Commission, adding, “And we hope that when America talked about full support, they know that they will give us their full support in that direction.”
He cautioned those that will be investigated by the LACC and will be held liable for actions of misuse of public monies and may be residing in the USA, not to feel it is over, according to him, “because we are in a new dispensation.” Cllr. Martin: “America has given us their full support, and we will adequately inform the American government through the proper extradition proceedings in the court – and we believe that what the Americans want is that they want due process, and once we can assure them that there will be due process of law, and there will be due process of law – that person or those individuals will be extradited.”