GoL Spends Over US$288,000

…On Interpreters for US$100M Cocaine Case

By: R. Joyclyn Wea

MONROVIA-The Government of Liberia has spent over two hundred, eighty-eight thousand United States Dollars (USD$288,000.00), on interpreters for the one million United States Dollars cocaine trial.

As you may know, Liberian Authorities acting on U.S. Security Intelligence on October 4, 2022, arrested three foreigners and a Liberian for trying to smuggle $100 million of cocaine seized in the West African country, officials said Tuesday.

The estimated value of the drugs is one-fifth of most of Liberia’s post-war annual budgets since the country’s civil war ended in 2003. They were charged with money laundering, unlicensed possession of controlled drugs, unlicensed importation of controlled drugs, and criminal conspiracy.

The trial which lasted for 72 days was being interpreted in both French (Arabic) and Portuguese languages as a means of giving fair trials to three of the defendants who claimed they could not speak nor understands the English language.

Each of these interpreters earned two thousand United States dollars per day, which means the government spent US$144,000.00 on each of the interpreters for the 72 days amounting to USD$288,000.00 for both interpreters.

The above amount is not included in what the government pays to hire the service the film for these two interpreters.

In addition to the amount spent on interpreters, the government also spent US$5,184.00 dollars the government of Liberia stands to lose to jurors in compensation for the 72 days sitting of trial into the matter. Aside from keeping the jurors underground where they were being fed three times a day and medical bills are taken care of.

On February 17, 2023, the trial was suspended predicated upon a request put forth by the defendants’ counsels for an interpreter (Portuguese and Arabic) to give their client a fair trial.

Criminal Court “C” did send a communication to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to provide foreign interpreters for said trial, but the Ministry could not provide one as it lacks foreign interpreters.

The Ministry’s February 20, 2023, letter to the Court compelled Judge Blamo Dixon to order the clerk of court to plead to Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah to forward a Diplomatic note to the US Embassy to aid the court with two interpreters in that area.

The two interpreters were provided with the responsibility to translate from Portuguese to Arabic Languages to English, and vice versa.

1 Comment
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