OBJECTION: Cllr. Sherman Rejects OFAC’s Economic & Financial Sanctions

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Senator Cllr. Varney Sherman

Grand Cape Mount County Senator and prominent Liberian lawyer, Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman, has written a communication to the plenary of the Liberian Senate informing the august body of his rejection of the economic and financial sanctions imposed on him by the United States Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

   On December 9, 2020 during the observance of International Anti-Corruption Day, OFAC imposed economic and financial sanctions on Grand Cape Mount Senator based on several reasons. The reasons for the sanctions, according to OFAC, are bribery, conflict of interest, routine payment of judges to decide cases in his (Sherman) favor and facilitation of payments to Liberian politicians to support the impeachment of a judge.

   “As your colleague and your Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims and Petitions, I believe that while I pursue whatever remedy is available to me under the United States law to expunge and remove my name from the OFAC sanctions list, I owe to you an explanation,” the communication reads.

   “I deny ever being the conduit or facilitator for the payment of bribes to Liberian politicians to impeach Justice Kabinah Ja’neh or any other judge from office,” Senator Sherman stated. Senator Sherman wondered why people would select him and not others from the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate. “Who gave me the funds to bribe these politicians? Is it OFAC’s assumption that I used my personal funds to bribe politicians?” he asked.

   The Grand Cape Mount Senator emphatically denied the accusation of routine payment to judges to decide cases in his favor. He pointed out that this reason given by OFAC for the imposition of the economic and financial sanctions is far from the truth.

   “Within the next week or so I shall separately address the OFAC accusation of bribery of multiple judges associated with my trial for a 2010 bribery scheme and an undisclosed conflict of interest with the judge who ultimately returned a not guilty verdict in July 2019.” According to him, the sanctions imposed on him has tarnished his character as a prominent Liberian lawyer. He vowed to pursue this until his name is removed from the sanctions list of OFAC.

   Following the reading of the communication, a decision was reached for the leadership to take control of the letter and report to plenary in two weeks for action.

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