Confusion reigned in the Criminal Court ‘C’ yesterday when a prosecution witness gave evidence that seemingly contradicted a statement he gave during his testimony on Monday, February 23.Francis Jomah, the prosecution’s first witness, initially testified during examination by state lawyers that he discovered in a carton a plastic bag containing a huge amount of counterfeit US dollar notes, about 200 pieces all in US$100 bills, amounting to a total of US$20,000.He also added that the counterfeit money was found under the desk of defendant Margretta Dorbor, who was an employee of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) and on trial for counterfeiting, theft of property and forgery. Jomah conducted the audit that allegedly discovered the US$20,000 counterfeit money, under the desk of defendant Dorbor.But when Jomah was cross examined by the defense team yesterday, he alleged that it was a business woman to whom defendant Dorbor credited a phone valued at US$100 and promised to pay in a week’s time, and who told him that the defendant paid her in counterfeit money.“The business woman brought this to our attention when defendant Dorbor was arrested with the counterfeit money,” he said in his testimony yesterday, adding, “she paid me in a counterfeit US$100 and I did not know that the money was a counterfeit until I went to deposit it into my account with my bank (another bank). It was there that I was informed that the money was counterfeit.”His statement then drew the court’s attention to the contradiction between the lady’s evidence and the one he gave to the Grand Jury for Montserrado County that indicted defendant Dorbor of theft of property, forgery and counterfeiting in 2011.According to the statement, he said, “that after it had come to the attention of the manager of LBDI that the defendant had been tampering with depositors’ money, an audit at the Gardnersville branch of the bank where the defendant worked was ordered.”He further explained that “upon arriving at the Gardnersville branch on December 10, 2010, at 8 a.m., auditor Jomah observed a huge quantity of cash in the amount of Liberian dollars $23,715 under the desk of the defendant in a plastic bag in a small carton and Ghana must go bag.”The document stated that “Auditor Jomah also observed that in the plastic bag was also a huge consignment of counterfeit, 200 pieces, all in US$100 bills making a total of US$20,000.”Also, the indictment did not say that defendant Dorbor was present in person when Jomah conducted the audit.But, during his cross-examination, when he was asked by a juror, where was defendant Dorbor during his audit? Jomah responded: “When I was carrying out the inventory of defendant Dorbor she was present.”Interestingly, defendant Dorbor denied all of the allegations, including the alleged counterfeit discovered under her desk. In his testimony, Jomah made it clear that defendant Dorbor was not assigned at the teller booth and she was not responsible to authorize the payment of money from the bank to customers.“The defendant was only responsible to open an account for new customers of the bank, but she chose to play the role of a teller and a person who authorized the payment of money to customers,” Jomah further alleged. The trial continues.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
As Guyana prepares for its budding oil and gas industry, the Government is looking to capitalise on the State of Qatar’s vast expertise in the petroleum sector.This was indicated by President David Granger as he accepted the Letter of Credence from the new non-resident Qatari Ambassador to Guyana, Ahmed Ibrahim Abdulla Al-Abdulla.President David Granger with the newly-accredited Qatari Ambassador to Guyana Ahmed Ibrahim Abdulla Al-Abdulla, along with Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Karen Cummings (left) and Director General at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Audrey Waddell (right)In his remarks, the Head of State lauded the existing bilateral relation between the two countries and at the same time, suggests new fields of cooperation, such as the energy sector.“Guyana is keen on enhancing partnerships with experienced oil producers such as Qatar. I am confident that your appointment as Ambassador will provide opportunities for fruitful discussions and exchanges in the oil and gas sectors of both our countries,” President Granger asserted.The Middle Eastern nation, which has oil reserves of over 20 billion barrels and an advanced economy, has long expressed interest in Guyana’s budding oil and gas sector. In fact, the State-owned Qatar Petroleum has bought a percentage of French oil major, Total’s share of its existing interests in the Orinduik and Kanuku blocks offshore Guyana.The Orinduik oil block is just a few kilometres from Exxon’s discoveries in the Liza and Payara fields.Eco Guyana and United Kingdom’s Tullow Oil signed a 10-year Petroleum Prospecting licence and Production Sharing Agreement with Guyana in 2016 for the Orinduik block. French firm Total E&P Activities Petrolieres entered the fray in 2017, partnering with Eco with the option to get a 25 per cent share in the block.Qatar Petroleum has since reported in July that it struck a deal to acquire 40 per cent of Total’s 25 per cent participating interest in the Orinduik block, and 40 per cent of Total’s 25 participating interest in the neighbouring Kanuku block.However, Director of the Energy Department, Dr Mark Bynoe, has said that they are yet to receive the necessary documents regarding this farm-in deal from Total.Meanwhile, the other partners in the Orinduik Block, Tullow holds a 60 per cent participating interest, while Eco Atlantic has 15 per cent interest.At present, Tullow has made at least two oil finds: in its Jethro and Joe wells. On September 16, the same day that ExxonMobil announced its 14th oil find, the British company revealed that it had made its second oil find in just a matter of weeks – 14 metres of oil reservoirs at the Joe well.Meanwhile, Repsol Exploration, a Spanish oil company, last month commenced drilling in the Kanuku Block at the Carapa 1 well site, which will conclude on November 30, 2019.Nevertheless, at Wednesday’s accreditation ceremony, President Granger noted that another new area he wants to explore cooperation with Qatar is tourism.This comes some two weeks after Guyana signed an Air Services Agreement with Qatar to promote and facilitate airlines of Guyana and Qatar to operate any number of services between both countries as well as beyond to any third country, with no restrictions on capacity, frequency, aircraft type and routing.According to the Guyanese Head of State, this agreement will pave the way for future cooperation in investment, enhanced trade, air travel and the movement of people.“Guyana welcomes this important milestone and remains committed to working with the Government of Qatar to enhance air connectivity in an effort to link the Caribbean and the Middle East. I wish to convey Guyana’s interest in deepening cooperation with Qatar in trade, capacity building and education,” he added.Meanwhile, the newly-accredited Qatari Diplomat conveyed wishes from the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani.“His Highness Tamim has instructed me to assure you, Your Excellency, of his willingness to develop and strengthen ties between our countries in all fields of cooperation to benefit both of our countries and people. Despite the geographic difference between the State of Qatar and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, the two countries have excellent relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations between them,” the Qatari envoy noted.Ambassador Ahmed Ibrahim Abdulla Al-Abdulla is currently posted in neighbouring Brazil. Guyana and Qatar established diplomatic ties some 23 years ago, in August 1996.