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Prosecutors threaten to abandon courts

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Prosecutors here have warned that they will not hesitate to abandon the courts across Liberia if authorities do not investigate the flogging and detention of Bomi County Attorney Cllr. Juma P. Karnley on Judge William Sando’s alleged order.

The National Association of Prosecutors of Liberia (NAPL) President Cllr. Jerry D.K. Garlawolu issued a statement following report that Judge Sando ordered Cllr. Karnley flogged, handcuffed and incarcerated on Tuesday, 19 March in Tubmanburg.

The NAPL warns that if Judge Williams’ alleged action is left unchecked, it could serve as precedence for other judicial authorities to intimidate, humiliate and subjugate prosecutors elsewhere in the country.

The group calls on the Supreme Court of Liberia and the Minister of Justice Cllr. Frank Musa Dean to investigate the circumstances that led to the humiliation and incarceration of Cllr. Karnley.

The State lawyers lament that Judge Williams’ alleged action “can be equated to misuse and abuse of his authority as a judge.”

The prosecutors here are particularly concerned that a writ of contempt was issued on Cllr. Karnley without hearing and at the same time condemning him (Cllr. Karnley) to prison.

“This action on the part of Judge Sando, is an abrogation of the doctrine of due process,” the statement says.

It continues that “the unprofessional and unethical conduct of Judge Sando is totally contrary to the dictates of the Code of Moral and Professional Ethics of lawyers in Liberia.”

The NAPL strongly demands an investigation of Judge Williams’ alleged action, urging further that the judge is reprimanded in conformity with the Judicial Canons for the governance of the conduct of judges here.

NAPL however urges its members to continue to render to the courts of the land the due respect and courtesy required of lawyers as prescribed by the Code of Moral and Professional Ethics of lawyers in Liberia in the wake of the Judge Sando saga.–Press release

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