By Lincoln G. Peters
Criminal Court ‘’D’’ Presiding Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie has fined the Government of Liberia US$150.00 (25,800 Liberian Dollars) to be paid within 72 hours in the Judiciary’s account due to the prosecution’s failure to provide pieces of evidence in a case involving members of an alleged armed robbery group calling itself “Kuba.”
In his August 30, 2021 ruling at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Judge Willie said the amount should be paid into the Judiciary’s account before Wednesday, 1 September 2021 at 2:00 pm, and the receipt is given to the Clerk of the Court for the reading of the court.
The US$150 fine is a combination of a US$50 fine imposed on each of the three lawyers representing the state in the case. The court imposed the fine after defense counsel pleaded with the court to have the state provide the defense counsel a copy of the indictment so as to enable the accused to have adequate legal representation.
Judge Willie warned that failure on the part of the prosecution lawyers to pay the said amount in the Judiciary’s account within the stipulated time, the court will have no other alternative but to take the next step to have them pay.
The prosecution in responding to the defense’s request had asked the court for two days’ continuance so that it can receive the file, make the necessary photocopies and ensure that defense lawyers have copies of the file.
But the court rejected the prosecution’s plea, saying the case was heard three times and in all, prosecution lawyers failed to provide their pieces of evidence.
Judge Willie indicated that the prosecution’s intention is to baffle the case and delay it. At the last sitting on Friday, 27 August 2021, Judge recalled that the prosecution agreed upon the assignment, adding that it was the prosecution that requested for continuance which the court also denied because all the defendants were not in court and the record showed that all of the defendants were not arrested.–Edited by Winston W. Parley