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)
The UK-based environmental and transparency watchdog, Global Witness (GW), has caused quite a stir (commotion, uproar) in Liberia with its sweeping allegations of corruption and bribery against several top officials of the Liberian government.So stirring have been the allegations that they have, for the first time in recent memory, succeeded in dragging into court top officials of the first branch of government, the Legislature. These include the very leader of the Legislature, Alex Tyler, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senator Varney Sherman, Chair of the Senate Judicial Committee. Counselor Sherman, who topped his class at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, is also a product of Harvard Law School, and Liberia’s most prominent and most successful lawyer. Both he and Speaker Tyler have been indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County on charges of “bribery, criminal conspiracy, economic sabotage, criminal solicitation and criminal facilitation.”Other officials indicted are Public Procurement Concessions Commission (PPCC) Chair, Willie Belleh, former Lands, Mines and Energy Deputy Minister E.C.B. Jones and Christopher Onanuga.GW has succeeded in rekindling the anger of the Liberian people against their government and public officials whom they (the Liberian masses) perceive as being determined, by their persistent corruption, greed and selfishness, to perpetuate poverty in the land. It is a land in which the rich have always continued to get richer and the poor, poorer.Who, for example, truly benefitted from the Liberia Mining Company (LMC) iron ore concession (1946) in then Bomi Territory, now County? President W.V.S. Tubman, of course, the personal friend of LMC owner Lansdell K. Christie, and a few of Tubman’s cronies. When LMC departed in the 1980s, all the Bomi people got were a hole in the ground, a ghost town for their capital, Tubmanburg, and abject poverty. The company did not encourage or empower a single Bomi citizen, man or woman, in business.Who benefitted from the LAMCO iron ore concession, owned by American, Swedish and Canadian investors? They, the investors, who made off with billions of United States dollars, and a few Liberian officials, who ALWAYS preferred the board meetings to be held in New York or some other American or European city, where the Liberian board members would collect their handsome per diem and board fees and go shopping. And what did LAMCO leave behind when it departed in the late 1980s? The impoverished Nimba people; a shanty town, Sanniquellie, as their capital, without running water or light; and absolutely nothing to show that they had once hosted one of the biggest companies operating in Africa. And when, once again, the GOL saw the opportunity to exploit a new natural resource—petroleum—GOL again embarked upon a policy of wicked and unconscionable exclusivity (elitism, snobbery, exclusiveness). It was a policy that ensured that the rich continued to get richer and the poor, nothing! Who, for example, became the shareholders in the oil blocks secretly sold in London by the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL)? Among these exclusive privileged was a young man already rich from inheritances from his father and grandfather. Then NOCAL’s missing millions, which disappeared under the watch of its former Chairman, Robert Sirleaf, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s son. The President has told the Liberian people that she takes “full responsibility” for the NOCAL money. However, as we pursue the alleged Global Witness culprits—Varney Sherman, Speaker Tyler, etc., we cannot afford to be so hypocritical as to be gravely concerned about US$950,000 in bribes from UK-based Sable Mining, and at the same time ignore those who made away with tens of millions of US dollars from NOCAL.But while we are in the midst of the case involving the bribery scandal, we call on the court prosecuting the alleged culprits to mandate Global Witness to come and present to the court ALL the evidence in the scandal—who all received the money, when, how much was paid to whom. And, of course, GW must also come and tell the court who Big Boy # 1 and Big Boy # 2 are, and what was their role and their take in the bribery scheme. We cannot afford to be seen vigorously pursuing the chickens while the cows go scot-free. That would be the height of hypocrisy. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Related Posts A new study has discovered a very exploitable flaw in Cisco’s popular Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, which could put millions of users in the enterprise and government at risk of remote eavesdropping.Cisco VoIP phones sit on some 50 million businesses and government office desks across the country and around the world. Take a peek in the Oval Office or on Air Force One, you’ll find them there, too. VoIP phones use the Internet – instead of a standard phone network – to transmit voice calls, text messages and faxes instead of a standard phone network. Internet phone service is much cheaper than traditional phone service, while the phones are as easy to use as any office phone system. But according to Ang Cui, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, and Dr. Sal Stolfo, they’re also a big potential security threat. And it’s not just Cisco phones – all VoIP phones are potentially susceptible to this flaw.Hardware Flaw Déjà VuIf the names Cui and Stolfo sound familiar, it’s probably because they aren’t new to the flaw-finding game. They made a similar discovery last year with HP printers that could be controlled remotely to collect information and attack other networks, due to a flaw very similar to the one they found in the phones. This time around, the duo was looking at a bug that shows up in 14 models of Cisco VoIP phones. The vulnerabilities lie in the phone’s firmware, specifically in the kernel system calls. Kernels are the core of the operating system and help manage a computer’s resources (CPU, memory, apps). Receiving a system call means an application running on the device wants to access hardware on the device, but needs approval from the kernel first. The bug allows hackers to easily bypass the kernel to access a VoIP device’s hardware. These phones aren’t just phones, Cui explained to NBC News, they are “general-purpose computers jammed into a plastic case to make you think it’s a phone.” Inside that plastic case is a system on a chip (SoC), RAM, flash memory and a network card. Add a microphone and an off-hook switch that activates the microphone when the handset is picked up, and you’ve got yourself a VoIP phone.Let Your Fingers Do The HackingCui and another researcher on the project, Michael Costello, demonstrated the hack at the the Chaos Communications Conference in December. The hack requires a plug-in device to insert malicious code (lovingly referred to as “ThingP3WN3r” at the conference demo), but it needs only one phone or device to access the whole network. The fact that this is a physical attack mitigates the danger of this vulnerability. But the amount of time needed to perform this physical attack is just seconds, so even an un-monitored lobby phone could serve as a potential vector for attack. A quick chat with the receptionist outside an office, or a visitors booth with a VoIP phone will do nicely. Once loaded onto the phone, the malware rewrites the onboard software so that the phone is virtually taken off the hook.Usually, when you pick up the phone to make a call, an LED indicator light comes on or an icon pops up on the screen. The rewritten code disables those indicators and turns on the handset’s microphone so that any conversation nearby can be heard and transcribed back to a central server. Which, at this point, is being controlled by the hacker. Not Exploited Yet?In an email to ReadWrite, Cui wrote that he couldn’t say whether the vulnerability has been exploited yet, “I will say that if a competent hacker looked at the code running in these phones, the vulnerability is not difficult to find and is straightforward to exploit.” Cui also claimed that currently no one can tell if a vulnerable phone has been compromised, because there’s no way to look into the phone to see if the software has been tampered with. The researchers told Cisco about the vulnerability last Fall in a report. It was acknowledged and within two weeks Cisco had provided a patch to fix the bug. Two weeks later, Cui and Stolfo downloaded the patch and sent a second report to Cisco that it didn’t work. There is currently a security alert listed on the company’s website with a more detailed account of the flaw. Cisco says it is working on rewriting the firmware and hopes to have a permanent fix ready by January 21. (Cisco did not respond to a request for comment.)Cui and Stolfo have developed their own fix, called Software Symbiotes, which they plan to demo at the RSA Conference in San Francisco in February. The defensive technology will live alongside executable code or arbitrary software to ensure that it works properly. Symbiotes, according to Cui, will be able to tell whether a system has been compromised, and either stop the malware or turn off the host device altogether. Until then, users of Cisco and other VoIP devices should be sure their devices are properly patched, or else watch what they say around the office.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… christina ortiz Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.