Criminal Lawyer Jason Doe Solves: The Case of the Money Lover

first_imgCharacters in this StoryJason Doe – defense counsel who knew there was the truth somewhereJanet Dagoseh – she was facing a preliminary hearing to establish her role in her husband’s deathDaniel Sackor – the judge who was affable in his demeanorJoshua Sackor – the prosecutor who told the defense: ‘Your witness…’Sam Weah – who was accused but claimed he was innocentSamson Dagoseh – the decedent (deceased) whose death linked his wife, who linked the accusedDorcas Soko – the woman whose name ended proceedingsA triumphant atmosphere filled the courtroom as Judge Daniel Sackor entered at 9 a.m. for the June 5 sitting with an air of affability, bordered on many years of judging criminal cases. The defendant, Janet Dagoseh was facing a preliminary hearing in a case in which she was denying culpability in the death of her husband by fire, an incident that occurred in central Monrovia, on May 25.State prosecutor Joshua Sackor walked his client through the night of the incident, to establish her innocence.“How long had you been married?”“We had been married for ten years.”“And he was a wonderful man?”“Yes, he was a man of my heart.”“Did you have any reason to kill your husband?”The defendant hesitated, wiping her eyes with a handkerchief, and gave a deep breath before adjusting her position on the witness stand: “This question has been thrown at me by many. The truth is I had no reason to kill my husband of ten years. And if anybody thinks there is any reason, let them prove it.”“Like all human relations, marriage has its ups and downs; and that, I think, is normal. That would not give me cause to hurt another human being…let alone my wonderful husband.”“Thank you,” the defense counsel said, as he walked towards his bench. He searched through documents on the table and after a couple of seconds, made three steps towards the defendant. With an unmistakable air of triumph, he solicited: “Tell us about the night your husband died, Mrs. Dagoseh.”The courtroom remained silent.“It was the night that I wish I had not lived to hear about,” she was barely audible, and the spectators in the courtroom leaned forward.“I had left the house about 6pm for choir practice. The church is located in Sinkor, and I rode a motorbike for the almost twenty-five minute ride. Practice ended about 7:30pm. There was a meeting that caused me to stay a little longer so I did not leave the church until about 8:30 p.m.”“By 9:00 p.m., I was nearing the Benson and Gurley Streets intersection when I saw the huge fire, the defendant Sam Weah coming from the house, along with lots of people, hurrying in the direction of the well-lit sky. Others milled about. I overheard their conversation about the fire which had killed a man they claimed was drunk in his bed.”“I did not think about any danger to me or whether Mr. Weah had anything to do with the fire till I got closer to the house when a neighbor met me and wondered how I managed to survive the fire.” She halted and wiped the tears from her eyes.She continued, “I came to myself about 30 minutes later in a hospital bed, because I had fainted. It was after I had been told of my husband’s death that rumors began to sweep across the community that I was apparently involved in my husband’s death since I was not killed in the incident.”“I am a broken woman and tired of life after losing my husband and the only house my parents left for me. My parents died in a blazing fire in 2009; I was the only survivor…” her voice broke again, and there were murmurs of sympathy from the audience.“When Weah saw me,” she continued, “he began to run through the large crowd of people.”“Your witness,” the prosecutor said, turning to defense counsel Jason Doe. It was clear that the woman’s testimony, along with previous ones, suggests circumstantial overtones that Sam Weah could have something to do with the blaze. However, Jason Doe knew there was too much for Mrs. Dagoseh to gain from her husband’s death, but to blame it on another, an innocent man, was hardly the way to do it.The accused did not factor too much in the prosecution’s deliberations with Mrs. Dagoseh but it was apparent that Judge Sackor had drawn up some conclusions. Nonetheless, the lawyer knew he now had the trump card to burst the case wide open. From closer observation of proceedings, he knew there was something fishy and he would chase whatever it was to ensure justice not only for his client, but for the man whose charred body was discovered after the blaze.The lawyer decided to ignore certain portions of the case and concentrate on the most pertinent points that could give any woman, the greedy type, the unholy belief that she could do away with her husband and turn around to enjoy the loot.As the lawyer approached the witness, he turned momentarily to the accused, whose eyes were filled with tears. The lawyer knew Weah had been a frequent visitor to the decedent’s house, as it was brought out in previous hearings, and it was clear that Mrs. Dagoseh was a cunning, coldhearted woman of steel. The lawyer swept his head away from the accused with a reassuring smile and strolled towards the witness.The courtroom tensed as ceiling and standing fans hummed, overshadowing the spectators with the afternoon breeze.Janet Dagoseh lifted herself as if to say, “I’m ready Jason, go ahead,” regained her composure, rolled her eyes, and threw her head back as defense counsel Jason Doe stood before her.A temporary silence followed which unnerved her, and unable to withstand the silence, she called for the tears that had been her companion since her husband died in the blazing fire that consumed two other houses, and had rendered her homeless.“Your parents died in a fire disaster in 2009?”“Yes.”“You were the only survivor?”“Yes.”“Your husband, or rather your late husband Samson Dagoseh worked for the United Consulting Company?”“Yes,” she said, “he was an accountant.”“He worked there for ten years?”“And you are aware that he had an insurance policy that says at his death you, his wife, would benefit from a life insurance amount of US$100,000?”The prosecutor was on his feet, “Leading the witness; what is the relevance of this line of questioning, Your Honor?”Judge Sackor lowered his eyeglasses and said, “Will the state prosecutor please tell us the point of this question?”“Your Honor,” Jason Doe said, “I am trying to establish a motive for murder. I am aware of the issue of relevance and the court will agree that the defendant has had a history of a fire incident that claimed her parents, leaving to her benefit a sizable amount when she had just married the decedent…”“Very well,” Judge Sackor said, “you may continue.”“Thank you, Your Honor,” Jason Doe said, and turning to the defendant, said: “You are supposed to earn 100,000 United States dollars as an insurance benefit from your husband’s death?”“Yes,” she said, lowering her head.“The last time you had a similar experience, which was in 2009, besides the house that you inherited, you received an insurance benefit of 175,000 United States dollars?”“Yes.”“At the time you had just married the decedent?”“Yes.”“You told the court that on the day of the tragic fire incident, on May 25, you went to choir practice in Sinkor and you arrived home around 9 p.m.?”“Yes.”Jason Doe, in an exciting tone, said, “We are in the raining season, Mrs. Dagoseh?”“Yes,” she said, “but the rains are not falling every day.”“But on May 25, how was the rain on that day?”“It did not rain that much.”“On the night the fire killed your husband, how much fell?”“I cannot remember.”“But you remember that you went to choir practice?”“I don’t miss choir practice.”“Yes, you don’t. But the day fire killed your husband you went to choir practice; you can only remember that you went to choir practice and not how much rain fell that day?”“Yes.”“What did you tell your friend Dorcas Soko, who visited you at the hospital the day after the fire killed your husband?”The defendant appeared surprised at the question and stared at the prosecutor.“I spoke to her as a friend.”“What did you say to Mrs. Soko when she told you that she believed you were bewitched, making reference to your past experience when your parents died? Remember you are under oath.”“I did not mean what I said.”“Tell the court what you said to Mrs. Soko.”Suddenly, the defendant slumped down in her chair, out of the spectators’ view. The bailiff, sheriff deputies and several police officers rushed forward to help. Judge Sackor readjusted himself on the bench and with a grin, beckoned the defense and the prosecutor to have a conference in his chambers.But before that the judge picked up his gavel and struck twice, announcing the adjournment of the case.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ex-South American soccer boss watches FIFA trial from afar

first_img0Shares0000The former head of the Confederation of South American Football (CONMEBOL), Nicolas Leoz, shown here in 2013, is under house arrest on US charges in the FIFA corruption case but extradition attempts have thus far failed © AFP/File / Norberto DUARTEASUNCION, Paraguay, Nov 14 – When the FIFA corruption trial kicked off in New York this week, ex-South American soccer boss Nicolas Leoz was a significant absentee, watching from the comfort of his home in Paraguay.Leoz, one of the main suspects in the huge bribery and money laundering scandal being investigated by the US Justice Department, is where any 89-year old is content to be, albeit under house arrest. The former president of the Confederation of South American Football (CONMEBOL) is suspected of receiving millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for marketing and TV rights for games. He denies any wrongdoing and his legal team has so far frustrated all attempts to extradite him.Forty-two officials and marketing executives, and three companies, were indicted in an exhaustive 236-page complaint detailing 92 separate crimes and 15 corruption schemes to the tune of $200 million.Along with Brazilians Joao Havelange and Ricardo Teixeira and the Argentine Julio Grondona, Paraguay’s Leoz held the reins of South American football from the 1980s until 2013.“They were the masterminds of corruption in South American football. They are the ones who should be on trial,” says Andrew Jennings, author of the book “The Dirty Game: Uncovering the Scandals at FIFA.”– Bribes or commissions? –Leoz has been fighting extradition since shortly after seven FIFA executives were arrested by Swiss police in June.He was admitted to hospital for a heart condition while his successor as CONMEBOL chief, Eugenio Figueredo, was being arrested in Geneva.He was later detained by police in Paraguay and placed under house arrest in the capital Asuncion, where CONMEBOL is based.But he remains a powerful figure in Paraguay.Along with a string of business interests, he owns the hospital to which he was admitted. He has a suite on the top floor of the ultra-modern Sanatorio Migone and his son-in-law is the director.The chances of him being extradited to face trial are nil, according to his lawyer.Leoz “is 89, is in delicate health, which is worsening over time. He has nursing care 24 hours a day. He hasn’t traveled by plane for the last four years,” said lawyer Ricardo Preda.“We are convinced that the extradition request will not succeed,” he said.“Without going into the substance of the matter, the facts he is accused of in the United States are not punishable in Paraguay,” said Preda.The alleged bribes are considered as commissions in South America because the money involved was a transaction between private individuals, he added. It’s only an offense if they are paid to a public body or to a civil servant, the lawyer said.– Support for Qatar –CONMEBOL has filed its own suit against Leoz for breach of trust, criminal association and money laundering.“CONMEBOL carried out an audit, which highlighted transfers of more than 110 million dollars from CONMEBOL to accounts held by Nicolas Leoz, validated by the executive committee, without supporting documents,” the South American soccer body’s lawyer Osvaldo Granada told AFP.“The sums were received on his personal accounts, then transferred to companies in the United States,” he said.“Unfortunately, the Paraguayan justice has delayed the investigations.”The association is also pressing charges against Leoz’s successor, Figueredo.According to FIFA, Leoz is also one of several officials suspected of receiving bribes to support the Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup.In Asuncion, the father of our lives with his second wife, a Colombian half his age, in the exclusive Villa Mora district.A journalist by training, he ran Paraguay’s Libertad football club in the 1970s. They play their home games at the “Estadio Nicolas Leoz”.In that era, said CONMEBOL’s new president Alejandro Dominguez, “the objective was money and football was a means to obtain it.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more