By R Joyclyn Wea
Criminal Court “A” has dismissed criminal charges against Montserrado district ten Representative Yekeh Kolubah less than a year after he was indicted by Government through the Ministry of Justice for allegedly partaking in the flogging of one of his constituents in the District.
At the moment, Representative Yekeh Kolubah is facing prosecution at Criminal Court “A” over crimes of: aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, kidnapping, criminal solicitation and criminal facilitation.
The Court on April 24, 2020 dropped four of the five charges out of which the indictment against the Representative were drown due to insufficient evidence to convict the defendant and wrongly charging him of the crimes.
Judge Roosevelt Willie ruled that evidence adduced by Government team of lawyers couple with their witness testimonies did not directly link Representative Kolubah to the commission of crimes: aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal facilitation and criminal solicitation except for the crime of kidnapping.
The lawmaker and several others were indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County on August 28, 2019, during the August A.D 2019 Term of Court over multiple criminal offenses predicated upon the alleged flogging of one Emmanuel Freeman, a resident of Old Road.
Count three of the indictment mentioned that on June 5, 2019 at about 4:03 hours and prior to the June 7, 2019 protest, securities assigned to the lawmaker in person of Abu Keita, Oliver Konneh, Mohammed Keita and others on board a hard-body white Nissan Pickup attempted giving one of their T-shirt and leaflets to victim Emmanuel Freeman, who refused on grounds that the distributor’s family aboard should be brought back to Liberia first, a statement that allegedly promoted his flogging by the lawmaker’s securities.
When the case was called during the February A.D 2020 Term of Court, the lawmaker through his counselors filed a motion for severance which was subsequently granted by Judge Willie.
When arraigned before the Court, Kolubah pleaded not guilty of the crimes thus joining issue with the state.
Accordingly; a motion for Judgement of Acquittal which gives rise to the dropping of the four charges was filed by Kolubah’s legal team based on Section 20.10 of the criminal procedure law of Liberia day he should have taking the stand to testify in his behalf.
Judge Willie in his ruling holds that based on the definitions of the crimes of aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit murder as found in the penal law of Liberia, section 14.20 and 10.1 respectively, Kolubah was never linked directly by any of the witnesses who testified for Government.
The Judge maintains that the victim that not say he was beaten by the Lawmaker rather Abu Keita and others bodyguards on orders of the Lawmaker.
“Freeman emphatically told the court that he was beaten, stripped naked and dragged to Yekeh Kolubah’s home, where he (Yekeh) came out and said ‘we will zero you’ and just after that, he freeman became unconscious and was taken to the JFK Medical Center for treatment.”
According to the Judge, we will zero you or we will kill you does not amount to criminal attempt to commit murder as spelled out in section 10.1 of the penal law of Liberia.
He holds that the statement can only be ascribed to aontoher offense, but not criminal attempt bto commit murder as such the crime charged is wrong and dismissible.
Regarding the crimes of criminal solicitation and criminal facilitation, Judge Willie says these are inchoate offenses and that one cannot be charged for solicitation or facilitation for an offense, which was consummated and in which the said person who solicited of facilitated participated.
Section 10.2.2 and 10.3.3 of the penal law, title ‘Defense precluded’ that it is no defense to prosecution whether the person facilitated or solicited is acquitted or not.
Criminal facilitation and criminal solicitation both have their gradings, therefore for government to have charged the lawmaker for both aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit murder which according to them were consummated and at the same time charged him (Kolubah) with criminal facilitation and solicitation is a reversable error and warrant dismissal.
Subsequently; the court acknowledges contradiction in testimonies of prosecution witnesses, but said they were not material enough to impact on all of the charges for dismissal except for the four charges dismissed.
To which ruling one of the Lawmaker counselors accept in part to the allegations of aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal facilitation and criminal solicitation and except to the crime of kidnapping.
Similarly, prosecution took exception to Judge Willie verdict and announces an appeal at the level of the Supreme Court of Liberia, the final arbital of Justice in the country.
“Prosecution excepts in part and announces an appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia sitting in its October A.D. 2020 Term by dismissing the indictment which charged the defendant with the crimes of aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal facilitation and criminal solicitation and accept to the ruling on kidnapping.”