In Liberia Parliament speaker steps down after Sable Mining indictment

The indictment alleges Tyler requested and received $75,000 from Sable via a lawyer, who is among those indicted, to help amend the concessions law.

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Alex Tyler- Speaker of the House of Representatives of Liberia. play

Alex Tyler- Speaker of the House of Representatives of Liberia.

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Liberia's parliament speaker said on Thursday that he is stepping down to face bribery charges in a case involving London AIM-listed Sable Mining's attempted acquisition of an iron ore concession in the north of the country.

"If my recusal is the ultimate sacrifice that will move our country forward and end this current quagmire, I am herewith recusing myself from presiding over the plenary of the House of Representatives," Alex Tyler said in a statement.

Tyler, who is free on bail, denies all wrongdoing.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered in May an inquiry into Sable's attempt to acquire an iron ore concession in northern Liberia after the watchdog group Global Witness made accusations of wrongdoing in a report.

A grand jury in Liberia then indicted Sable Mining, its Chief Executive Officer Andrew Groves and five Liberians, including Tyler, on charges of bribery and using their positions to amend Liberia's public procurement and concessions law.

The indictment alleges Tyler requested and received $75,000 from Sable via a lawyer, who is among those indicted, to help amend the concessions law.

The defendants deny the charges. Groves said in June that the indictment was politically motivated.

The indictment did not specify how Sable Mining was alleged to have benefited from the change to the law.

In his statement, Tyler criticized the government for prosecuting those named in the Global Witness report without conducting its own investigation but said he was stepping down to try to end gridlock in parliament created by the charges.

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