5 July Press Briefing Notes

Thursday, 5th July 2012


• New Chinese support to President and her Government

• Special Investigative Report

• Accident involving a Police vehicle in the President’s Convoy

As you may be aware, since President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ascended to the Liberian Presidency, the country’s relations with the rest of the world have been impressively good. International support to the Government and people of Liberia increased, with countries such as the United States, China, Germany, Norway, Sweden and others across various continents contributing to our nation’s rebuilding process. With the commencement of a second term of office, the show of international goodwill continues. I am pleased to inform you about a number of developmental support to the President, her Government and people of Liberia by one of this country’s dependable partners, the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese Embassy near Monrovia has informed President Sirleaf about the following decisions:

1. That funding has been secured for the construction of the New Ministerial Complex in Monrovia. It will be the second largest building to be constructed by the Chinese Government for any country of organization besides the AU Complex in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

2. Based on a request of the President, the Chinese have also agreed to and secured funding for the construction of new modern structures on the grounds of the Capitol Building, the seat of the National Legislature. The expansion will create impressive office space and other facilities for members of the National Legislature, as well as adequate work space for their staff.


3. That funding has also been secured, and the plans finalized, for the construction of new facilities for the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC). Additional support, upon the completion of the facilities, will include software support, teaching materials, instructors, etc.


 All of the projects mentioned will commence towards the end of the year.

A few media institutions have been reporting, since last evening, that the Presidential Convoy was involved in an accident that led to the death of a motorcyclist. The true story is that while returning from Whein Town, in Paynesville, yesterday afternoon, the Police pilot van assigned with the Presidential Convoy encountered the late Joseph Gaye, who jumped in the right-of-way, from the right side of the vehicle, and was knocked down. He was subsequently rushed to JFK Hospital where he died later.

The dead citizen is Mr. Joseph Gaye, and not a motorcyclist, as was reported. The authorities at the Executive Protection Service and my office have been engaged with the family on this rather unfortunate and regrettable incident which painfully led to the death of a citizen. We will further caution the citizenry to stay off the right-of-way when the Convoy moves, as it could lead to injury and even death, as in this instance.


The Ministry of Justice, following a review of the Special Investigative Report of the Sister Mary Laurene Brown Commission, on the November 7, 2011, incident, has given concurrence for the release of the Report by the Executive Mansion.

You may recall that the members of the Commission met with President Sirleaf on March 8 and presented the Report. However, its release was postponed to give the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Hon. Christiana Tah, time to study it and comment on its recommendations.


Minister Tah has since concurred regarding the release of the Report. She pointed out that, since the Supplemental Report came out in March, with recommendations that four LNP officers and one SSS officer be referred to the Justice Ministry for further investigation and, possibly, prosecution, her Ministry had set up a three-man independent Panel of Investigators, headed by Hon. Victor Helb, to review the evidence to determine probable cause for prosecution.  The report of that Panel will be released by the Ministry of Justice.