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Mar 9, 2019 | Africa

Sirleaf’s Son Released From Jail For Medical Reasons

By Darlington Porkpa in Monrovia - RFI
Rfi / Darlington Porkpa
Rfi / Darlington Porkpa

Detained Deputy Central Bank Governor of Liberia Charles Sirleaf was released from prison on Friday for health reasons after an application for his release was filed by his lawyers, according to the Liberia information ministry.

“Charles Sirleaf is ordered to be removed from the Monrovia Central Prison to his home or any other place of dwelling desirable to him within the City of Monrovia or its environs under the condition of house arrest,” said Judge Boimah Kontoe, acting on the application in Criminal Court C.

Kontoe specified that Sirleaf will need to surrender his passport, and will only be allowed visits by his lawyers, doctors, his parents and his immediate family.

Sirleaf's lawyers argued that the prisoner's health had deteriorated since his arrest and subsequent incarceration.

Jailed for missing money

Charles Sirleaf, the son of former Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, was sent to prison earlier this week over the alleged disappearance of two billion Liberian dollars in newly printed banknotes.

He is held in detention along with four others, including former governor Milton Weeks, Dorbor Hagba, director for banking, Richard Walker, director for operations and Joseph Dennis, deputy director for internal audit.

The five are charged with Economic Sabotage, Criminal Conspiracy and Criminal Facilitation after breaching the procurement law of Liberia by printing surplus money which cannot be accounted for.

Barred from leaving

Former Bank Governor Milton Weeks was also released on Friday after the court accepted a valid property bond his lawyers filed on his behalf.

Like Sirleaf, Weeks is barred from leaving the country without the consent of the court and is mandated to report to the court twice after every two weeks.

“The action by the court is in keeping with the laws of Liberia, which allows for the 'removal' of a person from custody before sentencing commences to some other place of confinement where his health may be better preserved”, said acting information minister Gayedyu in a statement.

He added that Sirleaf is required to report to the sheriff of the court twice a month.

“The government assures the general public of its determination to be judicious in the ongoing investigation, while ensuring that the rights of every citizen are preserved,” he said.

The rest of the defendants will remain behind bars until their lawyers apply for their release on bail, pending the verdict.

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