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Attorney General demands update in Cummings’ trial

Liberia’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General Cllr. Frank Musa Dean has instructed Solicitor General Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus to furnish his (Cllr. Dean’s) office with the proper evidence which provides the basis for the prosecution of opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader Mr. Alexander B. Cummings and other defendants.

Mr. Cummings is currently facing criminal trial at the Monrovia City Court after being accused by All Liberian Party political leader Benoni Urey of allegedly tampering with the CPP framework document and illegally attaching his (Urey’s) signature to a photocopy version. But he has always denied any wrongdoing. 

Cllr. Dean is quoted in the Justice Ministry statement as citing Section 22.2 of the Executive Law which provides that it shall be the duty of the Minister of Justice to procure the proper evidence for, and conduct, prosecute or defend all suits and proceedings in the courts in which the Republic of Liberia or any officer thereof, as to such officer, is a party or maybe interested.

Cllr. Dean suggested, according to the communication, that he is under obligation to ensure that the purpose of prosecution is not to taint, harass, grandstand, punish or convict.

Instead, he said the purpose of prosecution is to pursue the truth, adding that in the instant case, the Writ against Mr. Cummings and others was never quashed and, therefore, could not have been reinstated by the office of the Minister.

Liberia’s Solicitor-General Counselor Sayma Syrenius Cephus, who is leading government prosecution of the Presumptive Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings and two other leaders of the Alternative National Congress allegedly confesses here that the complaint against the three accused was initially “quashed” only to be reimposed by his boss, the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean.

Mr. Cummings is also Political Leader of the ANC, a constituent party of the CPP.

“It was the Justice Minister, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, who ordered the re-issuance of the writ of arrest after it was initially quashed”, S.G. Cephus reveals and maintains, “He is the only person who can order the matter to be dismissed.”

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In a live broadcast interview of Mr. Cummings on SPOON radio, Sunday, April 24, in which he threatened “consequences and repercussions for the false accusations and conspiracy to smear his hard-earned reputation”, the Solicitor General texted the talkshow hosts to inform Cummings that the writ which ordered his arrest was initially quashed only to be reordered by the Justice Minister and Attorney General.

Cllr. Cephus writes: “I am only a Prosecutor who is acting under his control and supervision, but he’s afraid to take a firm decision and believes that I will unilaterally abandon the case so that he can use it against me to the government.”

The ANC Political Leader has persistently maintained his innocence and described the charges and trial as political persecution and witch-hunt to smear him and deny his challenge against the aged and ailing Former Vice President Joseph Boakai, and President Weah for the right to contest in the 2023 Presidential Elections.

Meanwhile, Former VP Boakai, who was touted by the Solicitor General as government’s state witness, has reportedly dodged being served a subpoena to testify at the ongoing trial. Instead, Boakai has reportedly asked that he be deposed at home.

However, Defense lawyers strongly object and are demanding that Boakai, being in-country and able to testify, having written the National Elections Commission, making the same bogus and false claims against Cummings, be served and made to appear and testify in court other than his home.

In Sunday’s SPOON interview, Cummings also insisted on the appearance of Boakai in court, insisting that it is his “constitutional and human rights to confront his accusers.”

The Judge of the Magisterial Court, Jomah Jallah, was expected to rule on the appearance of Boakai on Monday, April 25.

Over the past four months of the trial, only one witness has been produced by the Government Prosecution.

Last week, Solicitor General Cephus requested the court to subpoena over 30 witnesses to testify in the ongoing “forgery and criminal conspiracy” trial, which has raised public concerns about

deliberate attempt by state prosecutors to delay and baffle the trial.

After promising “preponderance of evidence in the possession of state prosecutors to convict Cummings and others, Government Prosecution Team at the onset of the trial changed its public position and moved the court to compel the accused to provide the prosecution with evidence to prosecute them.

This strange practice was then followed by what the Defense called “prosecutorial misconduct” after State Prosecution admitted to “inadvertently” extracting several pieces of documentary evidence which could disprove the Prosecution’s charges and exonerate the defendants.

Meanwhile, the Presumptive Standard Bearer of the CPP, Cummings has urged the Liberian Judiciary to act in protection of its public reputation and integrity.

Citing recent utterances of the Solicitor General that the litigation has been decided and the trial was only to offer Cummings “due process”, the ANC Political Leader called for an end to the abuse of the Judiciary by the political branches, adding: “This undermines the rule of law, smears the international image of the country and risks the economic recovery, especially when too many Liberians are suffering worsening economic hardships and conditions.”

At the same time, Cummings assures his supporters and the Liberian people that he will be on the ballot in 2023, promising to “work as hard as possible to democratically end the failed and corrupt leadership of President George Weah.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/cummings-trial-takes-another-dramatic-twist/

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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