Justice News: WHO SAYING TRUTH

-In Scott’s ‘Compassionate Leave’ Claim

By R. Joyclyn Wea

Monrovia-There are inundating concerns as to who is providing true and cogent information regarding reports of the ‘compassionate leave’ of jailed former Chief Justice, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott.

The government of Liberia has been providing its side of the story while the Liberian media has also been painting a different picture of what it believed happened in circumstances leading to the time-being respite granted Madam Scott to allegedly visit her home.

Justice Gloria Musu Scott and her three relatives are incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison and expected to serve a lifetime jail term that’s if the juror’s unanimous guilty verdict against her is upheld by the Supreme Court which is the final arbiter of justice here.

For the murder, criminal conspiracy, and giving false statements to law enforcement over the death of her niece Charloe Musu in February 2022, Cllr. Scott, Gertrude Newton, Alice Johnson, and Rebecca Youdeh Wisner were all given life sentences in 2023.

However, she excepted to the ruling that put the lower court’s decision on hold until the Supreme Court made a decision.

The release of the jailed justice was announced on Thursday of last week by a local journalist on his Facebook page. The message went viral and was attributed to illegality.

This paper was informed by one of the prosecutors who pleaded not to be named that Justice Scott was given a “compassionate Leave” to visit her Brewerville residence, where she was at the time of the event, refuting the claim that she was freed arbitrarily.

The former Chief Justice, he claimed, was returned to South Beach thereafter.

Many burglaries have reportedly occurred at Justice Scott’s residence, yet the reason for her request to visit her home is still unknown.

For example, her Brewersville home was allegedly burglarized in February of this year, according to a news release from Cllr—Scott’s family and attorneys.

Public information was released stating that some of those offenders were apprehended with the help of residents.

According to Liberian legal precedent, the Minister of Justice may give an inmate “Compassionate Leave” for several reasons, such as medical needs, attending a relative’s funeral, wanting to return home, or having a strong personal cause.

Chapter 34.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law on Leaves from Prison states in part “The Attorney General shall formulate rules or regulations governing compassionate leave from institutions and, under such laws and regulations, may permit any prisoner to leave his institution for short period, either by himself or in the custody of an officer, to visit a close relative, to return to his home during what appears to be his last illness, or to return to his home during what appears to be his last illness, or to return to his home for other compelling reasons which strongly appeal to compassion.”

The chapter also mandated that the regulation specify the terms and conditions under which such leave must be given, taking into account the prisoner’s care, custody, transportation, and duration—which may vary from 24 to 30 days, depending on the specifics of the case.

According to reports, Cllr. Augustine Fayiah, the solicitor general of the Republic, oversaw the former Chief Justice’s legal team throughout the lower court trial and filed the appeal for the prisoner leave before the Supreme Court’s entire bench.

Is it unprecedented, if not let’s find someone who has benefited from such leave?

Many media institutions reported that granting compassionate leave to the jailed justice was unprecedented, implying that it had never happened before.

But, contrary to those accounts, this outlet found two notable cases where such leave was granted. Rodney Seh front-page Africa publisher and Dr. Chris Toe, former agriculture minister enjoyed said privilege. Though the veteran Seh case was more political, he was granted leave in 2013 by Christina Tah.

However, the Boakai administration denied that Scott and her family had been freed.

The statements are false, according to Daniel Sando, the Deputy Minister for Technical Services at the Ministry of Information Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), and are meant to mislead the public about the legal system.

According to Sando, confidence in the legal system is restored by the government’s continuous commitment to sustaining the rule of law and ensuring that justice is administered fairly and openly.

 

 

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