CPP Document Tampering Trial Suspended -Defense Lawyers Frustrated – 39 out of 45 Questions Denied

Former Vice President Joseph Boakai took the witness stand for the second time Tuesday, May 17, 2022 to testify against the accused ANC political leader Alexander B. Cummings and others in the CPP framework document alteration case. Interestingly, as The Analyst has gathered from its judicial correspondent and other sources, the defense team of Mr. Alexander Cummings, headed by Cllr. Abraham Sillah, is extra frustrated over the sustaining of objections from the presiding judge, leading to the court ruling out 39 out of the 45 questions raised from the defense team.

According to our judicial reporter assigned at the Temple of Justice, former Vice President and current political leader of the Unity Party, Joseph Boakai, on Tuesday continued his testimony Tuesday by disclosing that he did not sign any exit clause on May 19, 2020 as indicated in the photocopy document of the CPP Framework document.

When quizzed about the Unity Party exiting the CPP, Boakai stressed that there were ten recommendations discussed, but noted that he couldn’t say yes because there were multiple reasons for the UP withdrawal from the Collaborating Political Party.

Boakai said, since signing the CPP framework document on May 19, followed by huge public outcry, and subsequent review and changes by a team of lawyers, he had neither seen nor received a copy of the CPP framework document.

Responding to an ANC defense lawyers’ question, the former Vice President said after the “amended recommendations” of the CPP team of Lawyers, and subsequent decision to send the framework document to the CPP Validation Committee, he never saw the document again. “I am aware that the lawyers’ amended recommendations were brought to us and discussed. After that, they were supposed to have submitted it to the validation committee. That part is administrative. I never saw the document anymore,” Boakai said.

The former Vice President said he was also aware that the CPP, under the leadership of the Liberty Party Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, commissioned and conducted an investigation of the All Liberian Party allegations that the CPP Framework was altered.

When questioned about the Exit Clause in the CPP framework document supposedly signed May 19, 2020, witness Boakai said the version he read and signed had the word “resign” prior to the ten-count recommended changes  by the team of CPP lawyers.

“In the document that I signed, the wording was ‘resign’. Count 5 used the word exit which was not in our document,” Boakai said.

ANC Defense Lawyer referring to June 18, 2020, when Mr. Cummings posted the amended CPP Framework document and issues arising from the review of the CPP Framework in the National Advisory Council WhatsApp chatroom, asked whether Mr. Boakai still maintains that after the lawyers’ review and presentation to the four parties at the LP HQ, Mr. Boakai never saw the document again.

In response, Mr. Boakai said: “I said that the FD after the amendment recommendations, the lawyers and our subsequent decision had to send it to the validation committee which was an administrative duty that could only be handled by the chairperson. I have said further that I don’t follow discussion and approval of important documents in chat rooms,” Boakai said.

Sources tell this paper that ANC lead Defense Lawyer, Abrahim Sillah is seeking to establish what he calls contradictions in the testimonies of Mr. Boakai versus state prosecutors’ first state witness, Theodore Momo, who testified last February.

The former Vice President is Prosecution fourth subpoenaed witness who is testifying for government lawyers in relation to the CPP Framework document that was allegedly altered by ANC political leader Alexander Cummings.

Following VP Boakai’s appearance yesterday, Cummings lawyer, Abraham Sillah indicated that his team was baffled when the judge denied nearly all of the defense questions to VP Boakai. He however added that his side is on the right track to ensure that the “truth crushed to the ground will always rise”.

As for Solicitor General Syrenius Cephas, he’s confident about the outcome of the VP’s second appearance.

“The Vice President answered all the questions that were very germane to the prosecution case. The trial is ongoing. We appreciate the level of civility and the peaceful environment that is subsisting here. The environment was very calm. The Vice President was very calm. He answered the questions. The defense came running all over the place. Some of their questions were thrown out. They asked 45 questions, 39 were thrown out. This case, for us, we have done extremely well. The matter is suspended for now. We have to make an assignment for the hearing of this matter,” Cllr. Cephas stated.

Independent observations from a media pundit covering the trial however showed that the Defense lawyer Silllah and the defense team ran out of questions and kept repeating their questions, prompting the judge to call for recess on two occasions.

The independent journalist covering the trial also expressed surprise over the widespread rumor on social media alluding to Ambassador Boakai stating that he never knew Cummings except for the CPP encounters.

“In fact, Joe Boakai said he knew Cummings before the CPP formation, dating back to CWA,” the journalist averred.

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