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Cummings Defense Team: State lacks evidence  

The defense team in the dropped criminal trial of Mr. Alexander B. Cummings and others says the State abandon the prosecution of Mr. Cummings and others mainly because of lack of evidence.

Defense lead counsel Cllr. Abrahim B. Sillah, addressing a press conference Monday, June 6, 2022, at the Heritage Partner & Associates law firm on the Old Road immediately after the Monrovia City Court, under the authority of Stipendiary Magistrate Jomah Jallah granted the State’s plea of Nolle Prosequoi in favor of the Defense with prejudice to the prosecution, said the single intent of the trial was to have narrowed Mr. Cummings’ chances in the body politics of Liberia.

Cllr. Sillah also disagrees with Solicitor General Symah Cyrenius Cephas’ claim that the Government of Liberia abandons the trial based on the ruling from the Supreme Court on the framework document of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP). He says rather, the intent for the All-Liberian Party of Mr. Benoni Urey going to court was to make it impossible for Mr. Cummings to leave the CPP.    

The Monrovia City Court on Monday dropped all criminal charges against Mr. Alexander Cummings and others and denied state prosecutors’ request to ever refile the case.

“Wherefore and in view of the foregoing facts and circumstances, the State’s plea of Nolle Prosequio in favor of the Defendants are granted with Prejudice to the State/Government of Liberia. The Defendants are ordered discharged from further answering to the allegations contained in the Complaint and crimes with which they were charged and prosecuted. Furthermore, the Defendants’ liberties are restored as though they were never limited or restricted, and the cash bond proffered by the Defendants is ordered return. It is hereby so ordered!”, Magistrate Jallah ruled.

City Court Magistrate Jomah Jallah has accordingly restored all rights and privileges, of Mr. Cummings, declared the case closed, and that he will no longer be answerable to the charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy.

Monday’s ruling followed a press conference by Mr. Cummings defense lawyers, who described the State’s voluntary plea for nolle prosequi as an admission of lack of evidence to have warranted prosecution of the three officials of the Alternative National Congress (ANC).

The ANC Political Leader, Mr. Cummings, its National Chairman, Senator Daniel Naatehn and Secretary General Counsellor Aloysius Toe, were being tried for forgery and criminal conspiracy for alleged alterations of the CPP’s framework document but defense counsel Sillah told Journalists that the criminal charges were calculated ploy by the government, thru the All Liberian Party of Mr. Benoni Urey and Unity Party of former Vice President Joseph Boakai to defame Mr. Cummings, break up the CPP and thwart his Presidential bid in 2023.

Counsellor Sillah explains that the conspiracy involved the six witnesses, including former Vice President Boakai, who made incorrect and misleading statements without any iota of truth or evidence aimed at creating confusion and sowing seeds of discord among members of the bloc.

Sillah says while he is thankful for the withdrawal of the case, he regrets that the defense team never had the opportunity to establish with rebuttal evidence, and prove that the charges were bogus, intended to tarnish Mr. Cummings’ hard-earned reputation and prevent his participation in the 2023 general elections.

When asked about the necessities of the international forensic investigation conducted by two London-based firms, Amnia and Alaco, he notes that the findings significantly influenced the decision of the State to drop charges and withdraw the case.

He continues that the forensic investigators did a comparative analysis of the CPP framework document and established that leaders of all four constituent political parties (ANC, ALP, UP LP) discussed, accepted, acknowledged and approved every aspect of the CPP framework document, including the amended changes by the team of lawyers.

Counsellor Sillah says had the State not voluntarily withdrawn the case, the defense team had contemplated using the Amnia and Alaco forensic investigation report as evidence and also subpoena the investigators to come and testify in the case based on their findings.

However, he lauds Magistrate Jonah Jallah for the able manner in which he conducted the trial and his final ruling on June 6, which denied the State the right to ever refile the case.

Mr. Cummings along with two stalwarts of his party were charged on January 9, this year and after nearly five months of trial, the state on June 3, voluntarily decided to withdraw the case and drop all charges against the three ANC officials.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/why-government-abandons-cummings-trial/-By Jonathan Browne

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