LIBERIA: Cllr. SCOTT’s LAWYERS FILE A MOTION

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The Lawyers representing Cllr. Gloria M. Musu-Scott have filed a Motion to Bail counter arguing government’s lawyers indictment drawn against them in the alleged murdering of her daughter in her Brewerville residence.

Defendants Scott, Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, Gertrude
Newton and Alice Johnson prayed the Judge of Criminal Court “A” Roosevelt Z. Willie to grant
them the Motion to Bail for the following factual and legal reasons.

Cllr. Scott’s seven counts petition said that they are the defendants indicted by the Government of Liberia for the alleged commission of the crimes of Murder, Criminal Conspiracy and Making False Statements
to Law Enforcement Officers on June 23, 2023, following the issuance and arrest of them on June 22, 2023 on a Magisterial Writ and committed to the common jail.

The defendants submitted that based on the content and narrative of the indictment they are entitled
to bail pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law, Chapter 1, Subsection 13.1, captioned ‘Right to
Bail.”

The defendants under the law referenced, it is provided that all crimes are bailable especially when the
proof is not evident and the presumption is not great.

According to them, the indictment on its very face and contents demonstrate that proof is not evident and presumption not great.

“For instance, the indictment charged the Defendants for the alleged commission of
Murder collectively, the said indictment further alleged ‘that an instrument believed to be a knife’
was used but did not succinctly indicate as to who was the actual person among the four (4) that
committed the murder.”

Also, defense counsels said the Civil Procedure Law, Title 1, LCLR, under Provisional Remedies in Chapter 7. Subchapter C. Arrest § 7.45. Release because of privilege or lack of grounds and § 7.46 Bail; release from custody.

Count three of the defendants’ complaint further to count two of the defense team motion furthered that the state having failed and or refused to precisely
indicate as to who particularly committed the murder, it is sufficient to trigger the provision of
Chapter 13.1 of the Criminal Code thus releasing the former Chief Justice along with her family members on the strength of said provision pending the final disposition of the trial.

“Where it is uncertain whether the
accused is innocent or guilty-in other words where, upon an examination of the testimony, the
presumption of guilt is not strong, the court will exercise its discretionary powers and admit
to bail; and it is particularly called upon to bail in all cases where the presumptions are
decidedly in favor of the innocence of the accused”. Coleman v RL [1942] LRSC 12; 8 LLR 59
(1942) (8 May 1942).

The defendants submitted that Cllr. Scott is a former Chief Justice, Attorney General, and Senator of Maryland County of Republic of Liberia, is qualify under the provision of the Criminal Code cited; she is also qualify considering the facts and circumstances of the case
to personal recognizance as she is not at night risk from the Republic; and that she along with
the other defendants will be in court whenever needed from the commencement to the logical
conclusion of the matter.

The defense team added that the primary purpose of bail in a criminal case is to relieve the accused of imprisonment, to relieve the state of the burden of keeping the accused pending trial and at the same time to keep the accused constructively in the custody of the court, whether before or after conviction, to ensure that he or she will submit to the jurisdiction of the
Court and be in attendance thereon whenever his/her/their attendance is required. “Zuo v Morris
et al [1994] LRSC 32; 37 LLR 604.

“Obviously, the Movants /Defendants have been very
cooperative in these proceedings beginning with the Police investigation with over 10
appearances at the LNP National Headquarters up to current. They have been invited to the police
station multiple times and have never failed to attend. Hence, they should be admitted to bail
under these circumstances,” the defense lawyers said.

Cllr. Scott also respectfully submit that according to the Black’s Law Dictionary (9
Edition) “personal recognizance” is a principle which “allows 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.”

They averred that the organic law of the Land, (1986 Constitution of Liberia) under Article 21 (d) (i) thereof states that “All accused persons shall be bailable upon
their personal recognizance…” Notwithstanding the other phrase of the cited provision
“…unless charged for capital offenses or grave offenses as defined by law”, it also does
not preclude a court of law from exercising its inherent authority to grant bail to one
charged with grave offenses.

Accordingly; the Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion held that: “fullness this right to bail before trial is preserved, presumption of innocence would lose its
meaning.” Addo-Mills v. Thorpe et al. 24 LLR 27 (1975).

“This Honorable Court is respectfully
urged to firmly keep in mind that Liberia’s criminal justice system is founded on the principle of
“Presumption of Innocence”. The Liberian Constitution (1986) is forceful in its commanding
articulation inter alia in Article 21 (h) that “…in all criminal cases, the accused shall have the
right to be represented by counsel of her choice…shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved beyond a reasonable doubt…”our emphasis.”

Defense lawyers concluded that Ma Rebecca Youdeh Wisner who is aged and
feeble and always in need of medical aid as well as assisted in terms of her movement, and also
Cllr. Scott who is hypertensive and in need of regular monitoring due to the sensitive
nature of the ailment, should be granted the request as submitted.

Recently, the former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three others family members were indicted for allegedly killing Charloe Musu in Brewerville Community on February 22,2023.

The defendants were charged of Murder, Criminal Conspiracy and False Reports to Law Enforcement officials in violation of Title 26, Chapter 14,Section 14.1, Chapter 10, Section 10.4 and Chapter 12, Section 12.33 of the New Penal Law of the Republic of Liberia.

The Government three Counts indictment further that on February 22, the defendants with criminal minds and intent, armed with a sharp instrument believed to be a knife, and pepper spray, willfully, intentionally, purposely, and maliciously inflicted several bodily injuries on the person of Charloe Musu, including her chest, right hand, left thigh, and left armpit, which led to her death, thereby committing the crime of Murder.

According to the indictment it was on the night of February 22, after the family had eaten and were all in the house, when the security guards assigned to the home of Cllr. Scott, heard crying sound coming from inside the house. As the sound got louder, Security Guards Anthony Musu and Zion Tarr, approached the room window the former Chief Justice and in that process they saw co-defendant Gertrude Newton slid the bathroom window glass of Cllr. Scott, and upon seeing them, she started screaming for help stating “that the people on us in the house!.” Also seen in the bathroom with Co-defendant Newton was Charloe Musu, now deceased.

The indictment further narrated that she falsely told police investigators that on the night of the incident, she awoke to screams, and when she opened her eyes, she saw the deceased bleeding and bent over with what appeared to be keys on a string in her hands, that’s how she dragged her in her bath room, tore the window screen and began to scream through her bathroom window.

The indictment said Cllr. Scott furthered that she came back in her room for her phone but she did not find it, it was there and then that she remembered someone had given a pepper spray which she located amongst her papers; and that when she was leaving the room,’’ the indictment revealed.

The indictment added that she encountered a man at her doorway and she sprayed him in the face. Later, one of the security guards entered the house, and she gave him her set of spare keys to open the door, and that is how they carried deceased Charloe Musu outside to be taken to the hospital.
Co-defendant Newton falsely and erroneously told police investigators that the deceased was stabbed in the back by an alleged armed robber; when in fact and indeed, the multiple wounds inflicted on the deceased were all seen in the front and at the left armpit of the deceased.

Furthermore, co-defendant Newton said she had a tussle with the alleged intruder and even took possession of the knife before the intruder retook possession of the knife that he allegedly stabbed Deceased Charloe Musu with,’’ the indictment concluded.

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