Judge Reverses Guilty Decision

first_imgFive days after government lawyers challenged and threatened to complain to the Supreme Court about Judge Peter Gbeneweleh of Criminal Court ‘C’ over his guilty verdict against some dismissed managers of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), including its Managing Director, Moses Wogbeh, the judge yesterday reversed his decision.Judge Gbeneweleh on August 25 found guilty Moses Wogbeh and four others, including a Surveyor of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy of economic sabotage and ordered them to restitute the amount of US$6m, which they accumulated from illegal issuance of 61 Private Use Permits (PUPs) that authorized logging companies to operate on 1.2million hectares of farmland, and subsequently sentenced them to five years imprisonment, refusing to follow the ten years as provided under the law.Judge Gbeneweleh who served as judge and jury during the trial declared that “consistent with the relevant provision of the law, this court hereby corrects the portion relating to the restitution, fine and the imprisonment.”He further ordered defendants Moses Wogbeh, John Kantor, Jangar Kamara, David Blayee and Maxwell Gwee to restitute the amount of US$6m to the government as of August 25, 2015.He also fined the defendants US$10,000 each to be paid into government revenue within 72 hours as of the date of the final judgment on August 25, and sentenced them to a period of ten years as of the date of the final judgment.Judge Gbeneweleh instructed his Sheriff to prepare a commitment and place same in the hands of the Sheriff to have them detained for the period of ten years at the Monrovia Central Prison in Montserrado County or any suitable prison facility in the country.However, the convicts themselves were not present in court yesterday when Judge Gbeneweleh changed his decision in the ruling.Judge Gbeneweleh cited Section 23.5 page 385 of the Criminal Procedure Laws, which provides “for correction or modification of sentence,” and Section 15.87 of the Penal Code, which he said, related to fines and restitution.Wogbeh together with his principal deputies John Kantor, Maxwell Gwee, Jangar Kamara and David Blayee (a surveyor at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy) were accused of multiple crimes, including obtaining and issuing deceptive writings, obstruction of government functions by public servants and economic sabotage.Their action caused government to lose an amount of US$6 million in revenue intake. Instead the defendants claimed that it was their board chair, the former Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth, who authorized and approved the issuance of the 61 permits to logging companies.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Asias world city set to welcome the Year of the Pig

first_imgAsia’s world city set to welcome the Year of the PigAsia’s world city set to welcome the Year of the PigRegarded as one of Hong Kong’s largest and most colourful festivals, visitors and locals alike will be caught up in the energy and atmosphere of Hong Kong’s Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations.Squeeze into temples to pray for good fortune, browse festive markets selling auspicious foods and blooms, take in the red lanterns that adorn the city or sit back and enjoy one of Hong Kong’s most anticipated annual events, the International Chinese New Year Night Parade.Join the CNY festivities with highlights including:Discover local flower markets: Join locals for a sensory overload as they shop for seasonal flowers at one of the colourful flower markets. Plants and blooms symbolise different well wishes during the CNY period, including: cherry blossoms which are believed to improve personal, particularly romantic, relationships; and water bamboo plants which are said to bring wealth. Spend a few hours browsing the large range of creative products and delicacies that reflect the unique Hong Kong cultures.What: Flower marketsWhere: Fa Hui Park, Mong Kok and Victoria Park, Causeway BayWhen: Fa Hui Park market is open from 7am on 4 February to 7am on 5 February and Victoria Park market is open from 8am on 4 February to 8am on 5 FebruaryStart the new year in the Great Outdoors: In Chinese culture physical uphill climbing signifies progress in life, so hiking is a popular activity around CNY. For some great outdoors action head to Lantau Island via the cable car from Tung Chung, then wander around the world’s tallest outdoor sitting Buddha statue, before stopping at Ngong Ping Village to visit the “Good Luck Garden”. End the day by sampling some traditional Chinese vegetarian dishes at the Po Lin Monastery.What: Hiking Where: Lantau Island – Ngong Ping Village, Po Lin Monastery, Big BuddhaWhen: The cable car operates on weekdays from 10am to 6pm and weekends and public holidays from 9am to 6:30pmJoin the biggest CNY soiree in town: Head to Tsim Sha Tsui early on 5 February to secure a spot to watch the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade, a signature event dating back to 1996. Starting from 6pm roving performers will emerge along the parade route, before dazzling floats, ebullient dancers, acrobats and other performers from around the world follow and fill the area with colour and excitement. Paid spectator seats located at the starting point, next to the iconic Hong Kong Cultural Centre, are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.What: Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night ParadeWhere: Tsim Sha Tsui, running through Canton Road, Haiphong Road and Nathan RoadWhen: 5 February from 8pm to 9:45pmMake a wish: Venture to the New Territories to experience the local Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival in Lam Tsuen, Tai Po, which takes place from 5 to 19 February. Visitors can try their hand at placard throwing by purchasing a placard tied to an orange. They then write their wishes for the new year on it, before throwing it at the imitation wishing tree. The higher the placard hangs, the greater chance that the wishes will be granted. The floats from the International Chinese New Year Night Parade will also be on display until 19 February.What: Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival 2019Where: Lam Tsuen Wishing Square, Lam Tsuen, Tai PoWhen: 5 to 19 February from 8:45am to 6:30pmDon’t forget to look up: Fireworks, or literally “smoke flower” in Cantonese, is an integral part of festive celebrations in Hong Kong. For many years, an extravagant fireworks display is staged above the iconic Victoria Harbour on the second day of Chinese New Year. The 30-minute spectacle can be best viewed for free along the harbourfront in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, or ifc in Central; or for dinner and a show, book one of the restaurants overlooking the harbour.What: Lunar New Year Fireworks DisplayWhere: Victoria HarbourWhen: 6 February from 8pm to 8:30pm Spin the windmill for good fortune: Paying respect to the deities is a customary practice among the locals, especially the older generation. For a glimpse into this tradition, visitors can visit Che Kung Temple in Tai Wai, which attracts crowds of avid worshippers around CNY every year. Try “Kau Chim”, or fortune stick drawing, to see what fortune awaits in the Year of the Pig. Remember to spin the temple’s famous copper windmill clockwise to summon good luck.What: Che Kung TempleWhere: Tai WaiWhen: 7 February from 8am to 6pmPut the new year good fortune to the test: The Chinese New Year Race Day at the Sha Tin Racecourse will be the first race for the Year of the Pig calendar and provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to experience Hong Kong’s iconic horseracing culture and put their new year good fortune to the test. Join locals for a day of entertainment, hospitality and lots of horse racing!What: Chinese New Year Race DayWhere: Sha Tin RacecourseWhen: 7 February from 11am to 6pmFor more information on CNY visit www.discoverhongkong.com/au/search.jsp?keyword=Chinese New YearFor more information von Hong Kong visit www.DiscoverHongKong.com/au or www.DiscoverHongKong.com/nz@DiscoverHongKong // #DiscoverHongKongSource = Hong Kong Tourism Boardlast_img read more