FOLLOWING POLICE CHARGES OF CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY AND RAISING FALSE ALARM TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Monrovia, Liberia – Monrovia City Court stipendiary Magistrate Ben Barco has remanded former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three others family members at the Monrovia Center Prison.
Magistrate Barco decision followed after a writ of arrest was issued and serviced on the former Chief Justice and three others following the death of Charloe Musu.
Justice Scott and others are being charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, and raising false alarms to law enforcement officers.
Those three other family members charged along with Cllr. Scott includes; Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, Gertrude Newton, and Alice Johnson.
On Thursday, June 21, 2023, Justice Scott and others were escorted to the Monrovia City Court by huge armed Police officers.
During the preliminary hearing of the case, Lawyers representing Cllr. Scott and others requested the court to bill their clients citing Article 21 (h) of the Liberian Constitution and Chapter 13.1 of the criminal procedure law.
Article 21 (h) states that “no person shall be held to answer for a capital or infamous crime except in cases of impeachment, cases arising in the Armed Forces and petty offenses, unless upon indictment by a Grand Jury.”
Chapter 13.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law also says that ” a person in custody for the commission of a capital offense shall, before conviction, be entitled as of right to be admitted to bail unless the proof is evident or the presumption great that he is guilty of the offense.
On the hearing of an application for admission to bail made before indictment by a person in custody for the commission of a capital offense, the burden of showing that the proof is evident or the presumption great that he is guilty of the offense is on the Republic.
After indictment for such an offense, the burden is on the defendant to show that the proof is not evident or the presumption is not great.
After conviction for a capital offense, no person shall be continued at large on bail or be admitted to bail except by the provisions of paragraph 3 of this section.”
According to the defense counsels, the crime is grave as such, the proof is evident or the presumption great that the defendant is guilty of the offense is on the Republic.
The defense argued that since the crime of murder is a capital offense and the proof is not evident the defendants should be release on bill.
But the state prosecutors resisted the motion filed by the defense counsel and also relied on Article 21 (d) and chapter 13.1 of the criminal procedure law of Liberia.
The State prosecutors further argued that the crimes murder is a capital offense as such, they should not be bill.
Meanwhile, Judge Barco reserve ruling on the matter and remanded the defendants to jail to return on Friday, June 23,2023 at 12 noon.
The Judge of Criminal Court “C” A. Blamo Dixon on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, granted the writ of Habeas corpus which was filed by Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott and three other family members are legal representatives.
The arrest of Cllr. Scott and three others follow the murder of the late Charloe Musu.
The Three family members charged along with Cllr. Scott is Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, Gertrude Newton, and Alice Johnson.
On Tuesday, June 20, 2023, the former Chief Justice of Liberia was kept in Custody at LNP Headquarters, where she spent the night along with her three family members.
According to Judge Dixon, the writ of Herbas Corpus was granted because they were unlawfully held in Police Custody.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with reporters following the ruling of Judge Dixon, one of State Prosecutors Cllr. Lafayette Gould Sr. asserted that the former Chief Justice was released based on her status in Liberia.
Cllr. Gould intimated that if it was an ordinary person, they would not have been released to home.
He, at the same time disclosed to reporters that the former Chief Justice and others are yet to be charged, adding that they are still being investigated.
Judge Dixon’s release was based on the petition for writ of Herbas Corpus filed by Cllr. Scott’s legal team against the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia National Police, citing Articles 21(f) of the Constitution of Liberia requesting the court to take Judicial notice.
Cllr Gould, however, noted that the former Chief Justice and others are yet to be charged, noting that she is still being investigated at the LNP Headquarters.
Lawyers representing Cllr. Scott cited Articles 21(f) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia as their reliance requesting the court to release their clients.
Former Chief Justice Scott’s lawyers also requested the Judge of Criminal Court ‘C’ to reduce the huge armed security presence from the house of their clients to have sanity in the environment she lives.
Reported by: G. Watson Richards