Criminal Case Hangs Over Juror Belleh

first_imgLawyers representing Ecobank-Liberia in the US$3M damages lawsuit are beginning to outline their case for juror Elizabeth Belleh to be tried on the commission of the crime “criminal attempt to commit bribery.”Belleh, who served as one of the jurors in the case was allegedly caught in the office of Cllr. Cooper Kruah, one of the lawyers of Embassy Suites, Inc that is seeking the damages against the bank.Cllr. Kruah continues to deny the claim, when the incident was investigated at the Civil Law Court and during his press conference with journalists last Thursday.It is not clear when the Ecobank lawyer will bring to court the case against Juror Belleh, but addressing journalists last Friday, Atty. Arthur T. Johnson said they have enough evidence, both photographic and eye –witnesses’ accounts to convict Belleh of the charge.Besides Juror Belleh, Atty. Johnson said in a carefully worded statement, they were considering implicating other individuals in the lawsuit.He refused to name the other people, claiming it would be prejudice.But, he went on to say, “This is a serious issue and we are not taking it lightly.  We are going to prosecute those that are involved in the jury tampering saga,” the Ecobank lawyer strongly declared.Explaining about the discovery of the jury tampering, Atty. Johnson maintained: “Look, my people, Cllr. Kruah can’t deny that we never caught juror Belleh in his office.  We did; we have photographs to prove that, but we are not going to show the evidence until we get to the court.“We kept surveillance on them. When we got the information that she had arrived at his office, we quickly drove to his office and parked our cars right in front of it,” Atty. Johnson alleged.“We sat there from 4 p.m.  until it was 8 p.m., at which time to we saw both of them walking hand in hand from Cllr. Kruah’s office.”He further claimed that when the Counselor noticed that they were around, he quickly ran back into his office.“When he saw us around his office, he ran back into his office, but it was too late for Belleh to go after him.That was how we managed to stop her from leaving the place, and we photographed her, before inviting the police to arrest her which they did,” he claimed.According to him, Belleh is undergoing criminal investigation at the National Police Headquarters.“Right now, she is a subject of formal complaint of criminal investigation by the police. This is why we are not going to interfere with the police investigation by disclosing our evidence,” he added.The action, he said, was to serve as a deterrent to other senior lawyers, who he claimed, were winning cases by using money to influence jurors.“This is a new thing, we are introducing into our jurisprudence, so as to expose those lawyers who are damaging the images of our courts,’ Atty. Johnson emphasized.“We are going to do everything legally to root-out those bad apples in our midst,” he maintained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Odom going to give it a try

first_imgEL SEGUNDO – As if the questions about their second six-game losing streak of the season and their 36-point drubbing by Dallas weren’t enough, the Lakers also have to wonder just what player they will be getting back this week in Lamar Odom. Odom returned to the practice court Monday – along with forward Luke Walton – and is hopeful of playing Thursday at Denver. That would be less than two weeks after suffering a torn labrum that likely will require surgery after the season. There were positive reviews for both players, whose return undoubtedly will help stabilize a team that has lost 12 of its past 15 games. Whether Odom, though, will be an attacking player or one who is protecting his left shoulder remains to be seen. “I’m going to go out there and play at full throttle,” Odom said. When he is at his aggressive best, Odom is one of the NBA’s most dynamic players, capable of using his speed to take a bigger forward off the dribble or using his size to post up a smaller forward inside. When he is at his passive worst, Odom is largely a jump shooter who takes up residence on the perimeter. Far from putting up triple-double numbers, Odom sometimes goes long stretches without even touching the ball. Odom was the former before he injured his right knee in December and the latter after he returned. The Lakers won just six of 17 games with him back; Odom averaged 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists but shot 41.7 percent. Now the question is which Odom will return for the final 18 games of the regular season. How Odom goes likely will determine whether the Lakers can make something out of this injury-ravaged season. Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis, who ran Monday’s practice while head coach Phil Jackson went to the dentist, acknowledged Odom would be putting himself in a position to aggravate his shoulder just by trying to secure a rebound. center_img “You put that shoulder in a situation where you’re reaching back and somebody grabs it, you know it’s going to hurt,” Rambis said. “So it’s something that he’s going to have to continue to fight through and play. “We hope, like he showed today, that he can play through that and he can block it out and be aggressive, and that’s what we need from him.” Odom has been vague about the state of his shoulder, although he reported no pain after practice. He would not commit to offseason surgery and said of his first day back: “I’m just taking my time. I’ll mix it up a little bit more (today).” Rambis said the Lakers forced Odom, who uses his left hand almost exclusively on the floor, to test his shoulder in practice by playing him at a wing spot instead of in the backcourt. “He was in rebounding, he was attacking the basket and he was getting inside,” Rambis said. “That let us know that at least at some point in time mentally, that he’s ready to go with that and ready to challenge his shoulder.” Walton, meanwhile, remained on track to return against Denver. He said he started feeling weakness in his injured right ankle only at the end of practice, after he had become fatigued from playing in three full-court games. The Lakers are 6-15 without Walton, not that he expected his return (along with Odom’s) to provide any guaranteed relief from the Lakers’ collective misery; their past three losses have come by an average of 24points. “It’s not that simple,” Walton said. “We’re not playing like a team right now. Just throwing guys back in there is not going to make it happen. It’ll help, because I think Lamar and I are both very unselfish players, but we’ve got to do it as a team. “We have to all start buying into the offense again, and our defense, we’re not even playing any defense. We’ve got to as a team come together and decide we want to start stopping people.” Rambis also provided some insight as to how Jackson is handling this horrifying stretch of losing. Jackson had suffered through only two five-game losing streaks as a head coach before this season. According to Rambis, Jackson told the Lakers after Sunday’s loss to Dallas that they still were looking at a favorable first-round matchup in the playoffs as long as they could recapture the spirit with which they played earlier this season. “We don’t know if we can beat those teams, but we can certainly challenge all of those teams and make it tough on them in the playoffs in a seven-game series,” Rambis said. “So he still has that confidence, he still has the belief in the team and the guys.” Also: The NBA assessed Kobe Bryant a flagrant foul type1 for an elbow he delivered to the head of Philadelphia’s Kyle Korver late in the first half of Friday’s loss. No foul was called on the play; Bryant was trying to dribble free for a shot. … Bryant and Brian Cook were excused from Monday’s practice. The Lakers played five-on-five with 40-something assistant coaches Brian Shaw and Craig Hodges on the floor. [email protected] (818) 713-3610last_img read more