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Libercell Returns to Tax Court

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The Supreme Court of Liberia has mandated Tax Court Judge Eva Mappy Morgan to resume jurisdiction over Libercell GSM tax arrears trial, about three months after the high court placed stay order on the Tax Court’s decision to close down the company for failure to pay through stipulations, US$1,469,926.40 in taxes owed government.

But acting upon the Suprme Court’s mandate on Wednesday, Tax Court Judge Morgan ordered Libercell GSM (Atlantic Wireless Incorporated) to pay a total of US$734,963.20 along with clerk fees from the day of the ruling (Wednesday) to 22 December, 2012.

The judgement showing lower amount indicates that the company might have made initial payment as per the six stipulations put at US$187,740.80 each from 30 June through 30 November, prior to the ruling.

The lower court closed down Libercell GSM on Monday, July 30 this year on grounds that the company failed to comply with payment stipulations reached before the Tax Court despite repeated warnings.

Immediately after being closed down, Libercell petitioned the Supreme Court of Liberia for a writ of certiorari (for the higher court to review the decision of a lower court), prompting the high court to stay the Tax Court’s closure order and return the company’s operations to normality, pending the outcome of the review.

But in a mandate issued to the Tax Court dated November 30, 2012, Associate Justice presiding in chambers Phillip A.Z. Banks ordered the lower court to resume jurisdiction over the case and proceed as per the directive of “his predecessor to the effect that only the clerk’s fees are imposed on the petitioner” [Libercell].

The Associate Justice further mandated that the trial court ensures payment as per the stipulations of the parties which were endorsed by the court.

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