By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and presiding officer, Francis Korkpor in the ongoing impeachment trial of Associate Justice, Kabineh Ja’neh has denied the motion to recuse himself from the trial.
It can be recalled the defense counsel of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh filed a motion calling for the recusal of chief Justice Francis Korkpor and presiding officer in the impeachment trial.
This motion to recuse Chief justice Korkpor from the trial grows out of the impeachment proceeding of Associate Justice Ja’Neh of the Supreme Court of Liberia by the House of Representatives.
November 15, 2018, the House of Representatives presented a Bill of impeachment to the Liberian Senate for the impeachment of Associate Justice, Kabineh Ja’neh from the bench of the Supreme Court of Liberia.
According to the Bill of impeachment, the House of Representatives is accusing the Associate Justice of allegedly committing the crimes of theft of property, forgery, fraud, corruption, prove misconduct and the abuse of power among others.
Chief Justice Korkpor gave his ruling in the recusal motion Tuesday, February 19, 2019 in the chambers of the Liberian Senate on Capitol Hill following arguments between parties, prosecution and defense counsels.
According to the ruling, Chief Justice Korkpor said he committed no conflict of interest when he, along with three others Justices signed the judgment without opinion in favor of the movant for the failure of Madam Constance to have perfected her appeal.
“I committed no conflict of interest when I, along with three others Justices signed the judgment without opinion in favor of the movant of the failure of Madam Constance to have perfected her appeal. Based on what I have said and given the circumstances of the motion to recuse, I hold that the movant has not established any legal and/or factual ground for me to recuse myself. The motion to recuse is therefore denied and dismissed,” Chief Justice Korkpor said in his ruling.
The ruling further noted that in as much as he, Chief Justice Korkpor and the entire Supreme Court did not decide the Constance’s case on its merits, he as one of the justices in the case have expressed no view or taken no position on the merits of said case being used by the defense counsel calling for his recusal from presiding over the impeachment trial.
Meanwhile, the proceeding in the ongoing impeachment trial is expected to continue Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 10Am in the Chamber of the of the Liberian Senate on Capitol Hill. TNR