-For Delay In CBL Executive Stealing Case
By: R. Joyclyn Wea
The Judge of Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice has trashed government’s letter for delay in the L$16 billion stealing case involving executives of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) on grounds that the letter was addressed to the Clerk of the Court instead of the Presiding Judge Peter Gbeneweleh who is clothed with authority to grant or deny motions or plead for continuance in the matter.
The Court on Monday, June 17, 2019 trashed Government’s communication from the office of the County Attorney of Montserrado County and instructed him to properly address the letter to the presiding Judge of that court rather than the clerk as done in their (Government) communication.
Government of Liberia in a letter from the office of the County Attorney of Montserrado County dated Monday, June 17, 2019 pleaded with the clerk of criminal Court for two weeks continuance into the matter on grounds that their key material evidences are on a duties outside Liberia.
Government in her communication indicated that the application for delay will further enable Government Lawyers to fully prepare for the prosecution of the defendants while their material witnesses are away on their respective duties.
For his part, counsels for defendant Charles Sirleaf and others pleaded with Judge Gbeneweleh to deny the request for continuance by the government on grounds that it fails to state the name of the particular material witnesses that are on an assignment out of the Country.
Defendants counsel informed the court that Mark Kollie, Isaac Davis, J. Alex Tyler and three other witnesses of Government are all in Country as the matter of fact Former House Speaker Tyler and Mark Kollie who are government witnesses were in Court the same day.
Defendant Sirleaf further that Government under obligation to produce documentary evidence of the absence of its witnesses from the country something it failed to do in her communication to the court as such the application by County Attorney was baseless, unfounded and should be denied.
He maintained that the only reason for the government application is for the prosecution to file a writ of centenary with the Chamber-Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia to review the decision of Judge Peter Gbeneweleh on the motion for justification bail bond in which he rule against the state.
“The application should be denied and dismissed and the case which involved the L$16 billion consequent of which the city of Monrovia was shut down in the bring back our money campaign be speedily determined so that the public concern in respect thereto can be established,” Sirleaf’s Counsel.
In like manner, Defendant Milton Weeks Lawyer, Abraham Sillah beg the court to disregard, ignored Government’s application because the letter is misdirected and inappropriate in that the communication was address to the clerk of the court instead of the Presiding Judge who has authority to pass on such matter.
He explained that under the law, procedural and practices such letter should have been addressed to the Judge Presiding and not the Clerk of the Court as done by the Government because it is the presiding judge that has legal authority to deny or grant motions for delay and not the clerk.
Cllr. Sillah holds that the attempt by prosecution to address said communication to Clerk of the Court is misguided and only intended to undermine the authority of his honor Peter Gbeneweleh for the clerk has no such authority to grant such request or to deny same.
Cllr. Sillah further pleaded with the Judge Gbeneweleh to hold the County Attorney in contempt for attempting to knowingly, willing, and intentionally undermine the authority of the court by requesting the clerk to grant them continuance a power that is solely invested in the Presiding Judge.
Howbeit, the application for continuance by the Government was granted by Judge Gbeneweleh without any contempt charge even though the Judge acknowledges error contained in the letter address to the court by the prosecution.
Judge Gbeneweleh noted that it is the first of its kind for government lawyers to prey for continuance since the matter begun against the backdrop, he granted prosecution request and mandated the office of the county attorney of Montserrado county to properly address the letter to the him (Presiding Judge Of Criminal Court “C”) and not the clerk of that court.
Milton weeks, Former Executive Governor, Charles Sirleaf, Deputy Governor for Operations, Dorbor Hagba, Director, Finance Department, Richard Walker, Director for Operations, Joseph Dennis, Deputy Director, Internal Audit all of the Central Bank of Liberia and crane currency a Swedish company are indicted by the Government of Liberia for multiply offenses ranging from economic sabotage, criminal facilitation and criminal solicitation.