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Prosecutors boycott courts

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-As Justice Minister, others face contempt hearing

Circuit courts in Monrovia seem paralyzed by prosecutors’ failure to appear in court to hear cases due to alleged lack of materials to work with since the May Term of Court resumed, resulting to some party litigants staging protest at the Temple of Justice for their case to be heard.

On Monday, 17 May, riot police had to intervene at the Temple of Justice when some complainants who have filed a theft of property and criminal conspiracy case staged a protest at the Criminal Court “C” in anger over a reported continual postponement of the date to hear their case since this court term began.

Ahead of the protest Monday, Criminal Court “A” had earlier on 13 May summoned Liberia’s Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean and Cllr. SaymaSyreniusCephus, Solicitor General of Liberia to appear before it this Tuesday, 18 May to give reason for prosecutors’ failure and refusal to appear in court since the opening of the May Term.

Cllr. Dean and Cllr. Cephus are due to show cause why the Criminal Court “A” should not hold them in contempt for their prosecutors’ failure and refusal to appear in court.

“The Respondents Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, Jr., Minister, Ministry of Justice and Cllr. SaymaSyreniusCephus, Solicitor General, Ministry of Justice must appear before this Honorable Court on the date and time stated above to show cause why this court should not hold them in contempt for their prosecutors failure and refusal to appear in court upon receipt of notices of assignment since the opening of the May, A.D. 2021, Term of Court,” the Court said.

Among other cases, the Criminal Court “C” is expected to hear a theft of property and criminal conspiracy case filed against Reginald Taylor, Maria Morgan Luyken, Amos Benjamin, S. Bismarck Appleton, MeattiaYancy, and Ralph Johnson for having allegedly defrauding several victims of US$378,490 through dubious means.

Overtime the complainants in the case grew impatient because their case had often had to be postponed due to state prosecutors’ absence from court to proceed with hearing.

It even resulted in some raising suspicion that something else other than the prosecutors’ absence could have been responsible for this case to be delayed.

However the prosecutors’ absence is also affecting not only Criminal Court “C”, but other criminal courts, as seen through the communication from Criminal Court “A” which summons Justice Minister Dean and Solicitor General Cephus to answer for prosecutors’ absence from court.

Criminal Court “C” is the center of attraction for now because it is where defendants Reginald Taylor, Maria Morgan Luyken, Amos Benjamin, S. bismarck Appleton, MeattiaYancy, and Ralph Johnson are due to face trial for allegedly deceiving and extorting US$378,490 from several victims who are struggling for better opportunities and saw the purported Cycle of Life Fellowship as a solution.

The indictment against the accused narrates that between October and November 2020, the defendants organized a criminal enterprise named Cycle of Life Fellowship with the intent to trick and dupe state victims and other citizens.

Through that dubious organization, the indictment says the defendants criminally stole US$378,490.00 from the victims. By Winston W. Parley

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