“The report that FrontPageAfrica printed was not an official report from the LACC. Details were similar to what we concluded. We are not disowning the conclusions and all of that, we are saying that copy of the report that Mr. Sieh apparently had that was leaked out or whatever was not an official copy from LACC, LACC did not release its report to the media”, Cllr. James Verdier, Executive Chairperson, Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission
Monrovia - The Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, Cllr. James Verdier has acknowledged that conclusions and some details contained in the report published by FrontPageAfrica are similar to the LACC report on the National Port Authority indicating that the LACC is not disowning its report but only frowning on the publication of what he termed prosecutorial details by FrontPageAfrica.
Chairman Verdier on Thursday at a Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism press briefing said the report published by FPA is not an official report from the LACC. “Let me say here also regarding the NPA report, the LACC has not released to the press any report on the NPA. Whatever you saw in the FrontPageAfrica is not LACC report, right now we are conducting an investigation as to how they got that report and they published it that is not the LACC report”, Cllr. Verdeir said at the MICAT briefing.
In a sudden turnaround, the LACC boss Speaking Friday on the Liberia Broadcasting System ELBC Bumper Show, averred: “At no point in time will we at LACC disown our own report, no time we will disclaim responsibility for any report that we produce, no point in time". Cllr. Verdier said the commission is only concerned about the nature in which the report leaked and it is investigating the leak.
“We are investigating that, it warrants an investigation. There is a serious investigation going on because every staff of LACC signs a confidentiality form. This report is definitely going to be published. We are not disowning the report, it is true that the President of this country acted based on our advice”, the LACC chair said.
He further added: “We are not disowning that, we are not saying we are not going for prosecution, no. We are saying that that copy that Mr. Rodney Sieh had that he published from, was not the official copy from the LACC”. According to Cllr. Verdier, the version published by FPA seems to be the third draft of the report from the LACC investigation of the NPA.
“The report seems to be the third draft that we are working on; there were minute discrepancies, in terms of figures and conclusions. It is more than $800,000. The amount is more than $800,000. When you see a copy of our report, you will see the LACC stamp”, Cllr. Verdier said.
Details the same
Cllr. Verdier admitted that the details contained in the report published by FPA are similar to what is contained in the LACC report, but the commission is only concerned about the publication of important details that should be kept for prosecution.
“Almost all details are the same.“The report that FrontPageAfrica printed was not an official report from the LACC. Details were similar to what we concluded. We are not disowning the conclusions and all of that, we are saying that copy of the report that Mr. Sieh apparently had that was leaked out or whatever was not an official copy from LACC, LACC did not release its report to the media”, said Cllr. Verdier. The LACC chair disclosed that whenever the commission produces reports, it does not publish all the details because some details are kept for prosecutorial purposes.
Said Cllr. Verdier: “Here is another thing, for prosecutorial purposes, when we conduct investigation, we do not publish the entire report, statements, admissions and all of that we do not publish, we publish description of the case and the findings. We do not publish the statements because in time of prosecution, the statements will be used for prosecutorial purposes so we do not publish that”. He expressed disagreement with the publication of all the details by FPA.
“In this case we have reason to be annoyed because of all those information have been printed. It is true that across the world people will leak out information; but we as an institution we have to protect our report”, Cllr. Verdier stated.