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In Liberia, President Ellen Johnson
Sirleaf has suspended Information Minister Laurence Bropleh pending the outcome
of an investigation into a $300,000 scandal at the
Rodney Sieh, publisher of the online magazine FrontPage
Africa, said the suspended Minister Bropleh is expected to appear before
police investigators Monday.
Monday morning, about 10 O’clock, we gather that Minister Borpleh or suspended
Minister Borpleh will be appearing before the Criminal Investigation Division
to answer questions related to the multiple charges of financial irregularity
at the Ministry of Information. It’s not clear whether he will be arrested or
how the interrogation process will work,” he said.
said investigators appear to have a mountain of evidence supporting Mr. Borpleh’s
alleged involvement in the scandal.
gathered so far suggest that Minister Bropleh had put names of certain
individuals on the payroll of the Ministry of Information, mostly relating to
media personnel in the Foreign Service. And these people some of them claimed
that they never received payment, while others have said they received one or
two payments,” Sieh said.
said investigators are also looking into whether these so-called Foreign
Service media personnel assigned to Liberia’s embassies around the world were
appointed by President Sirleaf.
the Justice Minister to President Sirleaf’s press secretary to the
Anti-Corruption Commission, almost most government officials contacted were
tight-lipped about the alleged corruption case involving the information
Minister Christiana Tah would only say that her ministry was still collecting
and reviewing documents related to the case.
as a minister, I do not investigate these kinds of cases. We turn it over to
the police and they conduct the investigation and they will report to me. They
have not reported anything to me, and I cannot interfere with them,” Tah said.
one of his articles about the alleged corruption case Sieh suggested that the
fight against corruption in Liberia has been marred by selective justice and
preferential treatment for senior government officials.
Sieh said there are several
recent examples of what he called selective justice.
“There have been several
incidents where lower level people have been arrested and sent to the CID
(Criminal Investigation Division) for investigation, but we haven’t yet seen a
senior government official actually arrested and tried for corruption,” Sieh
He cited the example of
Information Minister Bropleh’s brother Albert Bropleh who, as chairman of the
Liberia Telecommunication Authority was arrested and jailed in April this year
for alleged financial irregularities. But his case has yet to be prosecuted.
Sieh also cited the example
of former Public Workers Minister Luseni Donzo who was replaced this year after
it was discovered his administration misused millions intended for road
construction but has yet to be prosecuted.
Another high-profile case
involves Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation Managing Director Harry Greaves
who was relieved of his post last month over a disputed $24 million contract at
His case also has yet to be
prosecuted. Instead a senior government official told VOA Greaves’ case has
been turned over to a government committee to review.
Sieh said his reporters
cited Information Minister Bropleh Sunday driving around Monrovia in his
“We did hear that he’s
getting ready for his session this morning. Those who know him say he’s
suggesting that the evidence in the government’s possession is forgery. So that
could be an angle that we should look out for in the next couple of days,” Sieh
Deputy Information Minister
Elizabeth Hoff has been named acting minister.
unconfirmed reports out of Monrovia Sunday said lawyers for the comptroller and
the chief accountant at the information ministry who had been held by
authorities in connection with the same alleged corruption case have filed a
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