By R. Joyclyn Wea
Less than a week after defendant Johnetta Pinky Abu Lawyer, Cllr. Arthur T. Johnson called on the Justice Ministry to speedily ensure the trial of his client who was accused for murdering a former employee of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation Morris Johnson, criminal court.
“A” has set Wednesday, November 21, 2018 to commence trial into the case.
Criminal Court “A” will also on this Wednesday, November 21, 2018 entertained arguments into Abu’s murder case.
This follows notice of assignment by Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie demanding both parties to file their returns and appear before the court for the trial of the case.
This is the first time Abu will be appearing in court since her indictment by the Liberian Government early June of this year for allegedly stabbing to death, Morris Johnson, her boyfriend with a kitchen knife in their SKD Sport Complex residence in Paynesville which later led to his untimely death in June of this year.
The court in its notice of assignment said “You are hereby commanded to notify the parties and/or their counsels in the above captioned case to appear before the first judicial circuit, criminal assizes “A”, for Montserrado county, Republic of Liberia, sitting in its November term A.D. 2018, at the circuit court house, Temple Of Justice building, Monrovia, Liberia, on Wednesday, the 21st day of November, A.D. 2018 at the precise hour of 9:00A.M.”
Its further said “you are further commanded to serve this notice of assignment by leaving a copy with each of the concerned parties or their counsels and have them signed for same, and you will, therefore, make your official returns on the back of the original copy and endorse thereon your signature, and have same filed in the office of the clerk of this honorable Court.”
Speaking with Judicial Reporters at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia prior to the call of the case, Cllr. Johnson said his demand for speedy trial is consistent with Article 21 (f) of the Liberian Constitution.
“We believe that the incarceration of Madam Johnetta Pinky Abu without due process of speedy trial is a violation of her constitutional rights under the law and for this reason we are calling on the Justice Ministry that has authority over the police that was rushing to have this girl incarcerated when in fact the presumption on the allegation is not great and the prove is evidence as to murder.”
The law provides that when a person is accused of a criminal offence, the operation of a principle of presumption innocent takes precedence.
“We believe that the government lacks the evidence on the cause of death and criminal agency that is trouble to the defendant but we want a speedy trial” he noted.
Moreover, Cllr. Johnson stated further that, a speedy trial is a constitutional right under substantive due process of law as contained in the constitution of Liberia, Article 21 under Chapter 3.
Ahead of November 21, 2018 arguments, defendant Abu lawyer, Cllr. Johnson had filed two separate motions (Motion for speedy trail and the motion to be admitted to Bill).
Cllr. Johnson’s pending application is in line with Chapter 13, section 13.1 of the criminal procedure law of Liberia.