Sky Insurance Company Hunts for 7 Defendants in US$1.2 Million Theft Case

By: 
Abednego Davis

Lawyers representing Sky Insurance Company, the entity on whose promises seven of the ten former employees of the First International Bank (FIB) were released on bail, is gradually falling into trouble with Criminal Court “C,’ after they failed to produce the defendants before the court last Wednesday.

According to credible information, the company has begun a house-to-house search for the defendants, to have them arrested and brought under the jurisdiction of the court.
The source added that most of the defendants may have left the country. If that is true, then Sky Insurance Company would bear responsibility to pay all applicable fees, including the US$1.2 million bond.

Interestingly, in 2013, the insurance company posted the criminal appearance bond, on which the court stood to order the Ministry of Justice to have the defendants released from detention, to await their trial date.
The former FIB employees were arrested and charged by the state, after they were accused for the disappearance of over US$1.2 million from the bank. Sky Insurance bailed them out of jail.

They were charged with the commission of the crimes of money laundering, theft of property, criminal conspiracy and facilitation and forgery.

Fortunately, the crimes of which they were charged were bailable offenses, based on which the company took the risk to post the bond.

Surprisingly, when the case was scheduled for hearing, the company and the defendants could not be found anywhere around the courtroom.
Their action prompted the legal team of the bank to ask the court to hold them in contempt and to issue a writ of re-arrest against the defendants, which Judge Peter Gbeneweleh accepted and did.

It was based on the writ that the Insurance Company appeared before the court last Wednesday and pleaded with it to give them additional days to enable them bring the defendants before it.
That request was also granted by Judge Gbeneweleh and he warned, if they failed to surrender the defendants before the court this week, the court would institute legal action against them.

A legal expert who spoke with the Daily Observer explained that a criminal appearance bond is a written promise given by a defendant in court that he or she will attend all required court appearances and will not engage in any illegal activity or prohibited conduct as set by the court.

“Usually, a monetary amount is set by the court,” the expert added, “but is not paid by the defendant unless the defendant fails to appear in court and the court orders it forfeited.”
According to him, the court may require that someone other than the defendant sign the appearance bond and promises to pay, if the defendant fails to appear.

“Apparently, this is the case with the company. If they fail to produce the defendants, they would be responsible to pay for all applicable fees, including the US$1.2 million,” the legal expert further explained.

The expert wondered, “I am afraid to ask where would the company would get such money to settle the applicable fees. This is a difficult moment for the company,” he added.

Liberian Observer

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