MONROVIA-Former Chief Justice, Gloria Musu Scott yesterday appeared in court with a demand that the Judge grant her and three family members an application for release on grounds that she is a stateswoman.
This is the second attempt by Justice Scott’s legal team to get her release from the Monrovia Central Prison while the allegations brought against them by Liberian security are being investigated. This time, the legal team is before Roosevelt Willie, Judge of Criminal Court “A” on a Summary Proceeding.
On Tuesday, July 27, 2023, Justice Scott, Gertrude Newton, Rebecca Y. Wisner, and Alice C. Johnson were indicted by the Montserrado County grand jury after being accused of murder, criminal conspiracy, and providing false information to state security by the Liberia National Police.
Given the unique circumstance of national public service and any logical interpretation of Chapter III, article 21(d(i) regarding a person who shall be bailable upon their personal recognition, Scott counsels maintained that they fall squarely within the expression, meaning, and intent of chapter III, article 21(D) of the Liberian Constitution.
The Attorneys for Scott argued that the right to pre-trial release on bond as specified by the law will eventually heal and that the right to pre-trial release is a fundamental right that the law provides for without adding undue burden.
“The court shall, as a matter of fundamental rights, grant and admit to bail without hindrance as espoused and instructed in article 21(d) (ii) of the organic law of the land, whereupon preliminary examination, the presumption of guilt is not strong or great and the proof is not evidence.”
Defense Attorneys further argued that because the Liberian justice system is built on the presumption of innocence, the Constitutional phrase, “unless charged for capital offenses or grave offenses,” could not have been meant to prevent any judge from using sound discretion to grant bail when an accused has been charged with a capital offense, as in the present case.
This latest action emanated from a motion to admit to bail which was filed by the defendant’s counsels following their arrest and incarceration on Thursday, June 22, 2023.
The motion was adjudicated on Friday, June 23, 2023, in which Magistrate Ben Barco declined to grant the plea of the defense counsels for lack of jurisdiction and improper filing.