LIBERIA:Gov’t WITHDRAWS MOTION IN MUSU’S CASE
Barely days to the opening of the August Term Court of all Criminal Courts in the Republic of Liberia, the Government of Liberia(GoL) has withdrawn a motion for change of venue in the Charloe Musu’s Murder Case involving the former Chief Justice of Liberia, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott and three others
This come after the State requested the court to grant said application due to a large crowd of people gathering in the courtroom repeatedly discussing the merit of the case while the case is ongoing.
With that they relied on Criminal Proceedings Law Chapter 5, sun- section 5.7(b).
Former Chief Justice Scott, Gertrude Newton, Rebecca Youdeh Wisner and Alice Johnson are currently behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison commonly known as South Beach while awaiting proper trial for the crime of Murder, Criminal Conspiracy and Making False Statements to Law Enforcement Officers.
According to the Ministry of Justice communication sent to the Criminal Court ‘A’ Resident Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie, the request to withdraw the motion is in good fate and if necessary or when the need arises they will refile said application.
“The Prosecution in the case IN RE: Republic of Liberia by and thru the Ministry of Justice vs Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, Gertrude Newton, Rebecca Youdeh Wisner and Alice Johnson most respectfully writes and submits a Notice of Withdrawal of the Motion for Change of Place/Venue in the aforementioned cause of Action, reserving the right to refile if the need arises,” the letter said
The letter, which was filed by of the Prosecuting Counsel in person of Atty. Randolph D. M. O. Johnson prayed to Judge Willie to order the Clerk of Court to spread the aforesaid Notice of Withdrawal on the records of the court.
It can be recalled that on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, the State filed said motion to the Criminal Court “A” due to public appearance and concerns about the outcome in the death of Charloe Musu’s trial.
Government said since the matter was brought to the attention of the court on June 20, 2023 through a Writ of Habeas Corpus at the Criminal Court ‘C’ to release former Chief Justice Scott and others from Police custody of which Judge A. Blamo Dixon granted, sympathizers in the courtyard were murmuring and throwing jibes at Government lawyers.
On June 22, 2023, Magistrate Ben Barco at the Monrovia City Court ordered the arrest of former Chief Justice of Liberia, Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, Gertrude Newton and Alice Johnson through a formal complaint filed by the Ministry of Justice and sent to the Monrovia Central Prison with the charges of Murder, Criminal Conspiracy and raising False Alarm to Law Enforcement Officers.
The prosecution contended that the large crowd of people gathering in the courtroom or courtyard repeatedly discussing the merits of the case is “totally against our practice and procedure”, adding that it is legally unacceptable and counter- unproductive to the conduct of an impartial trial.
Mentioning hearing dates, prosecution said on June 21, 2023 when Cllr. Scott and others were denied the right to bail the first time, hundreds of unidentified people stormed the Monrovia Central Prison in an unusual and irregular manner, something, which is not healthy or conducive for both former Chief Justice Scott and other inmates including the security guard and staffers at the facility.
The prosecution furthered that the media outlets are also discussing the case even before the trial has begun, which is scheduled for August Term of Court.
Among other things, the government added that their application and submission for change of venue was in line with Chapter 5, sub- section 5.7(b) of the Criminal Proceedings Law, which states that “ in motion of the prosecuting attorney or the defendant, the court may order the proceedings in a criminal court in another county in any of the following cases… (b) if there is reason to believe that an impartial trial cannot be had in the county in which it is pending.”