Criminal Court “A” Wants Justice Ministers Arrested

By: Lewis K. Glay

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted December 15, 2005


The Criminal Court “A” at the Temple of Justice says it will order the arrest of two top Ministers of Justice to face prosecution.

Cllr. James Zota who is the Judge of Criminal Court “A” said Justice Minister Kabaneh Ja’neh and Liberia’s Solicitor General Theophilus Gould will be arrested and brought before his court for them to know that there is law and order in the country.

He described both ministers as “lawlessness” individuals whom he stressed the incoming government need not include them in running the affairs of the state.

Cllr. Zota’s statements come against the backdrop of disturbances which took place at the offices of the Criminal Court “A” recently when a group of police were reportedly ordered by Cllr. Gould to force into detention, Mr. Melee Kermue and his partner Wilma Baily after the court ruled in their favor a writ of Habeas Corpus which they issue against the Monrovia City Court for their alleged detention.

The petitioners were said to have sought through their lawyers-Frances Garlawolo and M. Wilkins Wrights, a US$1.5 Million bail bond to secure their release in an extradition case built against them from the United States of America through the Ministry of Justice from alleged money laundering charges for which the United States is said to be pursuing their extradition for prosecution.

But the prosecutors led by Minister Ja’neh and Solicitor General Gould regretted the arguments of the defense and asked the court to deny the Habeas Corpus proceedings on grounds that the accused conceded that acts were criminal so they must be extradited since their offense is not political.

Judge Zota said the Article Two of the Liberia constitution 1985 points to the supreme fundamental law bounding force as effect on all authorities and persons of the republic.

&Any law, triable statutes, customs and regulations found to be inconsistent with such law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void and of no legal effect,” he noted.

He then ruled that the accused were illegally detained and that the decision made by the magistrate to set aside a bond and yet detained the accused was thereby reversed and petition reinstated.

Cllr. Zota also called on the accused to bring five prominent citizens of the republic to guarantee that they would not abscond from the country. They were at the same time reminded not to leave Montserrado until the appeal is heard.

The American Ambassador in Monrovia is to be served copies of the court proceedings as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs to avoid by- passing current preliminary proceedings until all fundamental rights of the accused are enjoyed through transparent justice.

Notwithstanding, Cllr. Zota said his ruling was purely based on the writ of Habeas Corpus and not on the basis of merit or demerit of the extradition case leveled against the accused.
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