The Criminal Court “D” at the Temple of Justice, which handles armed robbery cases, dismissed two defense motions on Monday, 5 September in which some of the seven persons accused of armed robbing Abijaoudi and Azar Trading Corporation wanted the indictment dismissed while others requested bail.
Presiding Judge Sakajipo A. Wollor ruled that the case “is considered as a capital offense that is not a bailable offense and should not be treated as such,” just after he refused to dismiss the indictment as requested by the defense on grounds that “the government did not [fail] to prosecute the defendants.”
In June this year, prosecutors indicted defendants Leequoi Sharpe, Frederick R. Walker, Tony Jamal, Henry Flomo, David Sengbah, Darius Brown and Eric Randall for armed robbery, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation for allegedly armed robbing Abijaoudi and Azar Trading Corporation of US$125,000 on 14 November 2015. In executing the alleged armed robbery mission, the prosecutors said the indictees pursued a black Nissan Almera Sedan vehicle marked PC- 30379 belonging to Abijaoudi and Azar Trading Corporation, before defendant Walker placed the operator – Faith Cooper, at gunpoint, handcuffed him to the steering, discharged the pistol and forcibly took away US$125,000 kept in a black bag.
The State said the vehicle was heading to Ecobank Vai Town Branch to deliver a consignment of US$125,000 when defendant Walker dressed in police uniform pulled the vehicle over at the main gate of the Liberia
Petroleum Refinery Company on Bushrod Island, over claims that the
operator had hit a pedestrian.
Judge Wollor said the defense’s motion to dismiss the indictment filed
on 1 September
cited the prosecution’s failure to proceed with the case, but he ruled
that such motion could not be entertained in that the record before
the court showed that there was commencement of the proceeding on 31
On 31 August, Judge Wollor said representation for summary defendants
were crafted on the minutes of the court with the exception of Tony
Jamal who said he wanted a private [lawyer].
“Because of the request, the government cannot be imposed on him, so
the hearing was on Friday, the 2nd day of September 2016. That is to
say, the government did not [fail] to prosecute the defendants in the
dock …,” the Judge said.
Regarding the motion to admit to bail, Judge Wollor ruled that while
the defendants relied on certain laws, the case at hand is considered
a capital offense and was not bailable.
Following the defense team’s request for a one – week continuance to
have the defendants and counsels adequately prepared, Judge Wollor
reduced the number of days granted the defense down to three on
to take one week from the proceedings “will not do well for all the
parties” in the case.
He emphasized that criminal cases should be taken seriously and
speedily, having concurred with the prosecutors that asking for one
week to strategize their plans for defense was too long.