Complete delay tactics–Cummings lawyers term subpoena
By Lincoln G. Peters
Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader Mr. Alexander B. Cummings’ lawyers say prosecution’s request for the court to declare their client a hostile witness is a complete delay tactic to prolong the case due to lack of evidence.
Mr. Cummings is on trial for criminal charges based on accusations by his fellow opposition leader Mr. Benoni Urey and the All Liberian Party (ALP) that the accused and his ANC party allegedly tampered with the framework agreement of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and attached his (Urey’s) signature to a photocopy version.
The CPP, which has already broken apart, was once made up of the ALP, ANC, the former ruling Unity Party (UP) and the Liberty Party (LP).
Both UP and ALP have announced their withdrawal from the CPP, and LP is also divided into two factions, one aligning with Mr. Cummings and his ANC, while another LP faction remains loyal to Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga – Lawrence.
Mr. Cummings has denied there exists any original CPP framework agreement other than what his accusers claim is a photocopy version and has instead challenged them to produce the original.
He faces charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy. But his lawyers said the prosecutors headed by Liberia’s Solicitor General Cllr. Saymah Syrenius Cephus is just trying to fish for evidence that does not exist.
His legal team contends that were the court to agree to declare Cummings a hostile witness, it would mean he is a general witness, something they said is a strange practice in this jurisdiction.
The defense argued that Cummings was only responding to a subpoena, and he was not yet on the witness stand for the full trial to be declared a hostile witness.
Cummings’ lead lawyer Cllr. Abrahim B. Sillah said all the applications made by the prosecution are not substantive and they lack legal standing and basis.
He noted that the prosecution’s applications are intended to delay the trial.
Cllr. Sillah claimed that because prosecution lawyers’ request is outside the law, they are demanding a subpoena witness who is only ordered to produce documents to become his own witness and testify against himself.
“The application is strange because the witnesses that appeared are subpoenaed witnesses, and the application made by the State is for the defendants to appear and produce two copies of the original signed framework document of the four opposition Collaborating Political Parties which was signed May 19, 2020.”
He stated that Subpoena Duces Tecum requires that a person produces documents and does not testify.
Meanwhile, the Magistrate at the Monrovia City Court, Jomah Jallah on Monday, 21 February reserved ruling in the motion filed by prosecution lawyer asking the court to declare Cummings a hostile witness.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/no-original-cpp-framework-document-exist-cummings-responds-to-city-court-subpoena/