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For Wrongful Detention: -Criminal Court “C” Frees Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, Others From Police Custody

The Judge of Criminal Court “C” has on today, June 21, 2023 granted the writ of ‘Habeas Corpus’ as filed by lawyers representing former Chief Justice Gloria Musu-Scott and others in connection with the murder of Charloe Musu.

Criminal Court “C” Judge Blamo Dixon, delivering his verdict said the writ was granted on grounds that the petitioners were unlawfully detained.

The Writ of Habeas Corpus

On Tuesday, June 20, 2023, the former Chief Justice of Liberia was detained at the LNP headquarters, where she spent the night along with three other family members. Her lawyers informed journalists that she and the others were charged with murder, criminal conspiracy and raising false alarm.

Speaking to reporters after the ruling, the special Assistant to the Solicitor General of Liberia, Lafayette Gould Sr. Said, Cllr Scott was released due to her status as former Chief Justice of Liberia. He furthered that if it was an ordinary person, they would not have gone home today.

Cllr Gould, however, noted that the former Chief Justice and others are yet to be charged, noting that she is still being investigated at the LNP Headquarters.

Judge Dixon’s released was based on the petition for writ of Herbas Corpus filed by Cllr. Scott’s legal team against the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia National Police, citing Articles 21(f) of the Constitution of Liberia requesting the court to take Judicial notice.

Justice Scott’s lawyers also asked the court that the heavy presence of armed men to her house be determined by her so as to have sanity in the environment where she lives and that the Court should award to the petitioner all that is legal and proper under the Law.

The defense lawyers are: Cllr. Richard J. Scott, Cllr. Augustine C. Fayiah, Cllr. Kuku Dorbor, Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi, Cllr. Murphy Kanneh, Cllr. Aloysius Toe, Atty. Bouwolo Taylor Kelly and Atty. N. Dixon R. Tamba to be joined by other Counsels.

While Prosecution Lawyers include Cllr. Sumo C. Kuku, Cllr. Aloysius F. K. Allison, Cllr. Lafayette B Gould, Sr., Cllr. J. Adolphus Karnuah, II. Cllr. Bobby F.W. Livingstone, Cllr. Aaron Kpaklin, Cllr. Nyante Twan and Cllr. E. Boykai Harvey.

Judge Dixon ordered that the maltreatment and torture meted against the former Chief Justice and her family by the state prosecutor or operatives should stop. “The state be advised to do that which is legal for the petitioner to be free from the consistence torture against her,” he said.

Judge Dixon furthered that the court is inclined to grant the petitioners’ petition for a writ of Hebeas Corpus as filed before the court and for the reasons stated in the petition.

“The court says that the petitioners’ petition for the Writ of Habeas Corpus will lie because that petitioners have been in constructive custody from February 22 up to June 20 when they were invited at the national headquarters, where they were detained and slept in detention,” Judge Dixon stressed.

He noted that the Law provides that when the liability and rights of a citizen of Republic of Liberia restrained the appropriate remedy at law is writ of Habeas Corpus. “The constitution of Liberia did not say after 48 hours, the constitution says within the period of 48 hours and in that light the petitioner writ of Habeas Corpus will not be premature but within the confines of the constitution and statutory law of the Republic of Liberia,” he explained.

“In conclusion, the petitioners are hereby ordered released from holding cell of the Liberia National Police and entrusted to the custody of their Legal Counsels headed by Augustine Fayiah and other Counsels of records; some of whom are present while others may be in Court,” the Judge ordered.

Continuing, he said: “The petitioners shall not go back to the headquarters of the Liberia national police from the Court House of the First Judicial Circuit Court Criminal Court “C” for Montserrado County Republic of Liberia. The presence of the heavy Armed Police Officers assigned to the residence of the petitioners are hereby ordered reduced if not withdrawn,” the court mandated.

The Court added that the “The resistance of the prosecution is hereby denied and the Sheriff is hereby ordered to have the petitioner placed in the office of the Sherriff for their counsels to sign for them pending the issuance of a writ of arrest from the appropriate Court, and or the issuance of an Indictment from the Grand Jury of Montserrado County.

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