[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1]

Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Court pursues GoL 

–To return acquitted cocaine suspects’ $113k

By Lincoln G. Peters 

The Criminal Court “C” in Monrovia has reordered the Ministry of Justice to pay back US$113,000.00 to the four men acquitted in a US$100m cocaine trial.

Judge A. Blamo Dixon reordered the return of the money Thursday, 1 June 2023, roughly two weeks after he had mandated the prosecutors to return cash they allegedly seized from the acquitted drug trafficking suspects.

Prosecutors lost the court battle in the US$100m drug burst case against defendants Malam Conte, Adulai Djibri Djalo, Makki Admeh Issam, and Oliver A. Zayzay.

A jury panel at the Criminal Court “C” in Monrovia acquitted the four accused men of the charges, a blow to Liberia’s fight against illicit drugs.

At the end of the trial on 18 May, Judge Dixon immediately ordered prosecutors to return money that the Government allegedly seized from the defendants.

The U.S. through its Embassy near Monrovia has said it is saddened by the acquittal of suspects recently tried for the $100 million cocaine trafficking case, even when the evidence seemed so overwhelming.

Judge Blamo’s decision to reorder the return of the money came after Justice in Chambers Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay declined to grant a writ the prosecution had prayed for.

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1]

“In view of the report of the Clerk of the court, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, Jr., Minister of Justice, is hereby ordered to bring to the First Judicial Circuit Criminal Court “C” the total amount of US$113,000.00 on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at 3 p.m. for onward transmission to the defendants by and thru their legal counsel,” the court said.

Judge Dixon stated that all other monies associated with the case are waived.

On Wednesday, 24 May 2023, the Justice in Chambers declined to grant prosecution’s request filed against Judge Dixon’s order to return a controversial US$200,0000 to the four defendants tried in the US$100m cocaine case.

During a conference with both parties in the Justice’s Chambers, Associate Justice Gbeisay said he found no merits in the case.

“After listening to both parties, I like to decline in granting the Writ of Peremptory as prayed for by the prosecution.”

“This decision is based on the lack of merits in the case. Therefore, I urge that this matter be trashed due to the lack of merits,” Associates Justice Gbeisay ordered. 

After listening to the decision of the Justice in Chamber, the Government of Liberia immediately took appeal to the full bench of the Supreme Court.

The Government raised the contention through a Writ of Prohibition on Tuesday, 23 May 2023, asking the Supreme Court to place a stay order on the release of the money to the four individuals. 

The government rejected Judge Dixon’s decision to return the controversial US$200,0000 the to four defendants who were acquitted in the US$100m cocaine case.

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=2] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=3] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=4] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=5] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=6]
Back to top button