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Special Feature

Periscoping Present Day Liberian Judicial System

It is an open secret that despite all of the efforts by Chief Justice Lewis and others to straighten up the Judiciary, corruption continues to be among some judges, magistrates and lawyers in coordinated factions, with party litigants possessing the biggest cash prevailing. One clear example of such travesty of justice is the situation with the property dispute between the children of the late Mary Page, a former City Mayor of Kakata in Margibi County and a Lebanese national, Elias Antoune.


The contending issue is about the situation which emerged out of what is reported to be a WILL allegedly written by Mayor Page granting her two-thousand acres of land in Todee District to Elias Antoune and her two granddaughters. This case has been within the court system dragging for years now without any redress, the first being Elias Antoune vs. Michelle Hassanin, the granddaughter of the late mary page and the second, Elias Antoune vs. Richard Hassanin, son of the late Mary page.

Unfortunately, these cases have continued to drag and drag and drag for years now so much so that there’s no “head, no tale.”  Whether the prolongation of these cases could be attributed to Elias Antoune’s financial capacity and influence on the court system, it is anybody’s guess.

As a matter of history, the disputed land was bought in 1966 by the late Mary Page in her own name in Todee,  Montserrado County. She also  established  a company in 1976 to run  the  the Marish Development Corporation, which opened what is still known today as Reno Garage in Vai Town, Bushrod Island and other businesses in Monrovia, and not the Todee farm.

The farm in Todee was rum separately from the Reno garage and other business owned and operated by Mary Page under the Marish Development Corporation. But the Lebanese national continues to argue in accordance with the purported WILL (the amended version) that Todee was included.

According to family sources, Elias had an intimate relations with Mary page, who died in 1995, six years after she wrote her Will (1989). What’s most interesting and confusing about this document is the possibility of the woman writing her Will on August 14, 1989 and also doing a codicil (amendment) on the same day.

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The irony is that in the original WILL, the late Mary Page gave her properties to Elias Antoune and her two granddaughters, while the second, which was an amended version produced on the same day the late Mary page wrote the first, incorporated the Todee Farm into his share-how really is this possible?

Unless the Constitution of Liberia, which established that non-negro non-Liberian( a Lebanese) cannot own land, was written yesterday, it is very foolhardy for any modern man to believe that a sound woman of high repute like the late City Mayor of Kakata in Margibi County, Mary Page would will such a mass land to a non-negro alien.

For Judges of our court system to handle such a case without any judgment for years, in my mind, is beyond imagination. Even at the moment, the possibility of accessing records of the two cases mentioned in the situation may be very, very slim. The reason could be that such court documents nay have been removed in the interest of the Lebanese national, probably by those who represented his interest in court.


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