Friday, November 21, 2008

United Nations Daily Newspaper Summary

By: U.N.M.I.L News

Former Taylor Associate Denies Committing Atrocities

(The Inquirer, New Democrat, Public Agenda)
· Testifying at the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation of Liberia (TRC) public hearings a former deputy director of police in the regime of President Charles Taylor denied ever committing atrocities during the civil conflict.
· Representative Saah Gbollie told commissioners of the TRC to direct inquiries into alleged atrocities of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) to detained former President, Charles Taylor presently facing trial for war crimes in The Hague.
· The New Democrat reports that during his denial, Representative Gbollie threw invectives at Commissioner John Stewart.
· Meanwhile, Commissioner Stewart has vowed never to attend the ongoing public hearings saying the leadership of the TRC has refused to warn witnesses against unruly behavior before the body.
· Under the theme: “Understanding the Conflict Through its Principal Events and Actors,” the ongoing hearings are addressing the root causes of the conflict, including its military and political dimensions.

Press Union of Liberia Gives Chief Justice 48-Hour Ultimatum
(Heritage, The Inquirer, Daily Observer, Public Agenda)
· The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has given Chief Justice Johnnie Lewis a 48-hour ultimatum to return the camera which he confiscated Thursday from journalist Sando Moore of the Daily Observer or face the wrath of the media.
· In an interview, PUL President, George Barpeen also requested an apology alleging that the Chief Justice Lewis is in the constant habit of intimidating journalists during their reportorial duties.
· The Chief Justice yesterday ordered the seizure of the camera for allegedly photographing him.

Court Begins Jury Selection in Detained Senator’s Case
(The News, Daily Observer, Heritage)
· The selection of a 15-man empanelled jury to hear the murder case involving Margibi Senator, Roland Kaine and 14 others began yesterday a the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
· During Thursday’s proceedings at Criminal Court “B” five out of the 15 jurors were selected with the balance 10 to be selected at a later date.
· Senator Kaine is charged with murder for his alleged involvement in the killing of 14 men during a farmland dispute in Kolleh Town, Timor District.
· Two other bodies were discovered in the river where the killings took place while 16 other persons are still said to be unaccounted for.

Criminal Court “C” Reschedules Economic Sabotage Case
(News, Democrat)

· Criminal Court “C” has rescheduled the economic sabotage case involving former Transitional Chairman, Gyude Bryant and four others for next week.
· The court’s decision comes after both the Defense and Prosecuting lawyers cancelled submissions and resistance during Thursday’s hearings.
· Meanwhile, State lawyers want the re-arrest and subsequent detention of Mr. Bryant and his co-defendants for failing to turn up in court during the hearing.
· The former Transitional Chairman and the four others are accused of embezzling over US$1.1 million dollars from the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) during the rule of the National Transitional Government.

GAC Debunks Claims of Professional Impropriety
(Heritage, The Informer)
· The General Auditing Commission (GAC) has expressed concern about what it calls series of unfounded and sponsored attacks against the Commission.
· In a release, GAC Chief of Communication, Ernest S. Maximore said that GAC is not an enemy to any institution or government.
· Mr. Maximore said the GAC was only doing its work in assisting President Sirleaf to set up a unique control system that will produce an accountable government.
· The Movement for the Defense of the Down-Trodden has made series of allegations against the Commission as well as the Auditor General, John Sembe Morlu, II for what the group termed as acts of impropriety at the GAC.

Local Media-Radio VERITAS (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
Press Union of Liberia Gives Chief Justice 48 Hours Ultimatum
(Also reported on Star Radio, Truth F.M. ELBC and Sky F.M.)

Criminal Court “C” Reschedules Economic Sabotage Case

Former Taylor Associate Denies Committing Atrocities

STAR RADIO (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
Global Financial Crisis hits Liberia’s Micro-finance and Exports
· Microfinance and exports have been identified as areas in the Liberian economy that are experiencing the immediate impact of the global financial crisis.
· Financial experts in Liberia say most Liberian-based companies have lost credit lines from overseas banks, which are not replaceable by local banks.
· For exports, revenues from rubber and other products are decreasing as a result of the decrease in commodity prices on the world market.
· The financial crisis is also predicted to have impacts on investment, aid and remittances in the near future.
· The comments were made at a one-day economic round table chaired by President Sirleaf on the impact of the economic financial crisis on Liberia.

Local Official Reports Security “Threat” in Bomi County
· In an interview, the Commissioner of Klay district in Bomi County, Alfred Zinnah says there is an imminent security “threat” at the Klay Checkpoint following the departure of the UNMIL Pakistani contingent.
· Commissioner Zinnah said since the departure of the Pakistani contingent, Klay and its environs have been in darkness saying electricity would help drive away would-be criminals and gangsters.

Liberian Senate Urged to Prioritize Training
· Speaking at the a one-day workshop for the Research Bureau of the Liberian Senate yesterday, the Director of Research, McCarthy Weh spoke of the need to prioritize training as a key component to building a professional bureau.
· The workshop for 25 Researchers and Analysts was sponsored by the National Democratic Institute with funding from USAID.

Truth F.M. (News monitored today at 10:00 am)
Court Begins Jury Selection in Detained Senator’s Case

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