10.2 C
New York
Monday, March 4, 2024

Latest Posts

Frm. Chief Justice Scott, Others Spend 1st Night In Central Prison

The Monrovia City Court has sentenced former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three of her family members to “19 hours imprisonment” at the Monrovia Central Prison.

The sentence was announced by Stipendiary Magistrate, Ben Barco Thursday, June 23, 2023 after he reserved a ruling on a criminal appearance bond file by Cllr. Scott and her family members lawyers.

The bond, according to African Entertainment News (AEN) is requesting the Court to have the former Chief Justice released along with the other indictees on bail while awaiting the start of their trial.

Barco said, “Having heard the argument by the lawyers, the court reserved ruling until June 23, by 12 noon, at which time the three magistrates presiding over the court will meet and come with ruling into the matter.”

“The defendants will remain in prison, at the Monrovia Central Prison, until 12 noon when the determination would have been made,” he added.

Scott and her co-accused have been charged for the alleged brutal murder of Charloe Musu, who happens to be the niece of the former Chief Justice. The charge of murder is a felony and a non-bailable offense. However, in rare circumstances, bail is issued.

However, she had constantly claimed that her home was “attacked” on the night her niece was killed. She along with the others has been charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, and making false statements to law enforcement officers.

Cllr. Amara Sheriff, in the defense of bail application, argued that Scott and the other accused had never been arrested for any criminal offense; as such, they should be granted bail some they are “not flight risks. ”

“Since they are not flight risks, the defendants ought to be granted bail and not subjected to the punishment of incarceration before judicial determination of alleged wrongdoing,” Sheriff said.

He also argued that the Constitution of Liberia, particularly Article 21 (d) (ii) which states that “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor excessive punishment inflicted” back his claim.

In this case, Sheriff noted that the defendants have been cooperating with the Police investigation and have made no attempt to leave the country, and “are in the same position to continue to present themselves to the Court for the purpose of these proceedings whenever needed.”

“By these, and in the contemplation, effect, impact, spirit, and intent of the law, our clients are entitled to bail, a fundamental right guaranteed by the organic law of the Land, the 1986 Constitution of Liberia espoused in Article 21 (d) (i),” Sheriff added.

“All accused persons shall be bailable upon their personal recognizance or by sufficient sureties, depending upon the gravity of the charge, unless charged for capital offenses or grave offenses as defined by law.”

However, the prosecution lawyer, Aldophus Karnuah, disagreed and asked the court to deny the bail application, and further argued that since the defendants are charged with the crime of murder, which is a capital offense, “they cannot be released on bail.”

“This constitutional provision made it clear for you to deny, dismiss a bail bond by a defendant which according to the penal code is a capital offense. The crime of murder is defined by law as a capital offense and, as such, for you to grant a bail bond is in total violation,” Karmuah argued.

“If the presumption is not great and the proof is not evident, the accused should be granted bail bond and there has been no evidence that the act for which the defendants have been brought before you and, as such, you can’t and shouldn’t surmise that presumption is not great and the proof is not evident,” he said.

According to the writ of arrest, the former Chief Justice and her co-accused “did there and then, by means of a sharp instrument believed to be a knife, colluded, connived, and conspired to stab victim Charloe Musu multiple times resulting in her untimely death.”

The court document claimed that the defendants reported to the police that the death of the deceased was caused by the stabbing done by an unknown man who intruded into their house, but police investigation established that “said account is false and misleading.

“This act of you defendants being: Criminal, illegal and unconstitutional, and done with the intent and purpose to take away the life of another individual the crimes of Murder, Criminal Conspiracy and False reports to Law Enforcement Officials the Defendants did do and commit, hence this writ of arrest.”

Meanwhile, Sheriff has told the court that his clients are entitled to enjoy said right to be granted and admitted to bail based on “Personal Recognizance.”

Personal recognizance, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, allows for the release of a defendant in a criminal case “in which the court takes the defendant’s word that he or she will appear for a scheduled matter or when told to appear.”

Sheriff noted that the Constitution under Article 21 (d) (i) thereof states that: “All accused persons shall be bailable upon their personal recognizance or by sufficient sureties.”

He explained that Chapter III of Article 21 (h) provides, in part, that “…In all criminal cases, the accused …shall be presumed innocent,” he emphasizes.

Sheriff also insisted that his clients are entitled to enjoy the right to pretrial release as stipulated by the laws and “hoary” with age in these jurisdictions.

“The right to pretrial release is also fundamental and provided for by law without unnecessary hurdles,” Sheriff.

According to him, the country’s Criminal Procedure Code directs that an accused is entitled to bail unconditionally as a matter of right.

Latest Posts

Don't Miss

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.