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Monday, June 17, 2024

LIBERIA: 34 DEFENSE LAWYERS FILE MOTION TO BAIL FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE SCOTT

Date:

MONROVIA – A horde of 34 defense lawyers representing the interest of former Chief Justice Gloria M. Scott and three others who were charged for multiple crimes including Murder,  have filed a motion at the Criminal Court “A” to bail the defendants.

The motion filed on behalf of the defendants, questioned the indictment as well as the charges levied against the former Chief Justice and her family.

Some of the prominent lawyers on the defense team include former Supreme Court Justice Kabineh M. Janeh, Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, Cllr. Cooper Kruah, Cllr. Augustine Fayiah, Cllr. Boakai Kanneh, Cllr. Augustine Toe, Cllr. Amara M. Sheriff and Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi among others.

In the motion to admit defendant Scott and her family to bail, filed late Tuesday, June 27, 2023, the defense team said the fact that the government failed and or refused to precisely indicate as to who particularly committed the murder, it is sufficient to trigger the provision of chapter 13.1 of the Criminal Code, thus releasing the defendants on the strength of said provision pending the final disposition of the trial.

The movants submitted and said that based on the content and narrative of the indictment, they are entitled to bail pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law, Chapter 1, Subsection 13.1, which is captioned ‘Right to Bail”.

Under the law referenced, it is provided that all crimes are bailable especially when the proof is not evident and the presumption is not great.

The lawyers indicated that in this instant case before the court, the indictment on its very face and contents demonstrate that proof is not evident and presumption not great, adding, the indictment charged the defendants for the alleged commission of murder collectively.

“The indictment further alleged ‘that an instrument believed to be a knife’ was used but did not succinctly indicate as to who was the actual person among the four (4) that committed the murder,” the lawyers indicated in their motion.

Further to count two of their motion, they said the State has failed and or refused to precisely indicate as to who particularly committed the murder, it is sufficient to trigger the provision of Chapter 13.1 of Liberia’s Criminal Code here and above, thus releasing the defendants on the strength of said provision pending the final disposition of this trial.

“Where it is uncertain whether the accused is innocent or guilty-in other words where, upon an examination of the testimony, the presumption of guilt is not strong, the court will exercise its discretionary powers and admit to bail,” the defense argued.

The movants further submitted and said that the co- defendant Gloria Musu Scott, former Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia, former Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia, and former Senator of Maryland County, Republic of Liberia, is qualified under the provision of the Criminal Code as cited.

They argued that she is also qualified considering the facts and circumstances of the case to personal recognizance as she is not at night risk from the Republic; and that she along with the other Co-Defendants will be in court whenever needed from the commencement to the logical conclusion of this matter.

The defense added that the primary purposes of bail in a criminal case are to relieve the accused of imprisonment, to relieve the state of the burden of keeping the accused pending trial and at the same time to keep the accused constructively in the custody of the court.

“Whether before or after conviction, to ensure that he or she will submit to the jurisdiction of the Court and be in attendance thereon whenever his/her/their attendance is required,” they indicated.

Meanwhile, the court has set hearing into the matter to July 4, 2023. Credit: LINA

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