-Associate Justice Ja’neh Caution Court Magistrate
By R Joyclyn Wea
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia,
has warned would-be court magistrates to stop arresting people unnecessarily.
Justice Kabineh Ja’neh
According to Justice Ja’neh, magistrates disregard the writ of summon and issue writ of arrest, something he linked to the overcrowdiness of prison centers as well as factors responsible for the increase of pretrial detainees at the Monrovia central prison.
Justice Ja’neh said the law provides for the issuance of writ of summon before the writ of arrest. Adding, “The law states that after the writ of summon are served three times if parties (ies) disobey based upon that a writ of arrest can then be issue.”
This illegal practice according to information is mostly experience in magisterial courts in the rural counties.
Justice Ja’neh mentioned the writ of summon provides good opinions for magistrate to address issues that are brought before them.
“The law says you may issue a writ of arrest under two conditions, one, if you believe and satisfied that crime have been committed and two that the person complaint is likely to be the person who committed that crime the law says you may than order a warrant of arrest if the complaint is crime in nature chapter 10, section 10.6 of the pend procedure law,” Justice Ja’neh said.
Chapter 10, section 10.12 of the criminal procedure law also says “even if the person who brought the complaint to you appear to make a case bordering on crime you may enmute or issuance of writ of arrest issue summon, this prevision in the mind of justice Ja’neh has a number of diligence because it gives you an opportunity to hear from the party clearly and in a way that also allow you to hear from the accused person and this is where I have my problem with the magistrate.
Meanwhile, Associate Justice Ja’neh disclosed that currently there are more than one thousand persons in prison and more than 70% of that number are people under pretrial detention, thus, magistrate can help the cuprite to reduce were they to listen to some of the people and realize that it is something that can be handled with jail sentence.”