Liberia News: Kruah Exposes Sydney

With question of integrity issues, the newly nominated Minister for Justice and Attorney General of Liberia, Cllr. Cooper Kruah has finally exposed Edgar Sydney, the man who is asking for the lawmakers to hold on his (Kruah’s) conformation due to what he said is his indebtedness to one Edgar Sydney.

But speaking to this paper over the weekend Cllr. Kruah said, he is compelled to speak due to what he termed as complete blackmail on the part of Sydney. He said Sydney is using this medium to extort and exploit him, which he will not allow.

“When I was appointed as Minister of Postal Affairs during George Weah Administration, he brought this same story against me. But the Senators did not give him credence because they saw no magnitude in what he was saying,” Cllr. Kruah said.

He said, at one point Sydney, asked a Pastor to tell me to give him US$75 or else he will write the Senate to disrupt my confirmation.

He said the case in question derived from one company-Mano River Rehabilitation and Development Corporation (MARDCO) which was set up in 2006 by a group of Liberians who acquired fifty thousand acres of undeveloped farmland in Bong County, for the cultivation of rice, cocoa, coffee, and oil palm production. The company also extended its services to Sierra Leone.

According to Cllr. Kruah, he was approached by MARDCO through his law firm, Henries and Henries, to recover US$600,000.00 from a petition for proper accounting filed against Mr. Tombetta. As per the agreement, he was to be paid 20% of the recovered amount.

He said, after the adjudication of the case that MARDCO won, Tombetta, an Italian businessman left the country to Sierra Leone without settling his legal obligations. This made him to think differently.  But in   2012, four vehicles belonging to Mr. Tombetta were loaded with rubber from Sierra Leone to Liberia to sale. Those vehicles were seized and the proceeds sold which amounted to a total of US105, 339.24.

He disclosed that of this amount, Mr. Sidney alleged that Cllr. Kruah still owes his company an outstanding US58, 814.08 for which he had sought the intervention of the Supreme Court’s Grievance and Ethics Committee (GEC).

But Sydney did not say how the legal services to Cllr. Kruah would be paid. But following that, the GEC’s called on Cllr. Kruah to present a complete financial statement to Mr. Sydney within 30 days or face suspension from the practice of law till the Supreme Court’s mandate was adhered to. This was done by Cllr. Kruah.

The GEC states, “As regarding the issue of the complaint of Mr. Sydney for full accountability by Cllr. Kruah to his client, the Committee concurs with Mr. Sydney. This request falls within the lawyer’s duty to his client. Cllr Kruah should therefore be liable and responsible to have the Sheriff of the Sixth Judicial Circuit make adequate and complete financial reporting in this matter and Cllr. Kruah justifies all monies received and withheld by him and those paid to Mr. Sydney.

In his financial report to Mr. Sydney as mandated by the Grievance and Ethics Committee, Cllr. Kruah  said that on May 22, 2012, Mr. Sydney signed and received US$21,500.00. On May 24, 2012, he received and signed for US$7,339.24, on October 19, 2011; US$4000.00 was received and signed for by Sam D. Flomo on behalf of Mr. Sidney. On October 25, 2011, through Cllr. Nyanti Tuan, Mr. Flomo again received and signed for US$4000.00 on behalf of Mr. Sydney. Also, a payment of US$43, 000.00 made to one Rebecca Eze, the wife of Mr. Tombetta, based on the instructions of former Chief Justice Jonny N. Lewis, while US$24, 000 was received by Mr. Sydney out of which US$9000.00 was paid to Cllrs. Kruah, Tuan, and Lofan Kaneah as legal fees.

But what makes Cllr. Kruah angry was Mr. Sydney wrote a communication to President Boakai stating that he only received US$21, 788.33 out of the amount collected despite multiple receipts with his signatures.

Please find attached some of the receipts.

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