Liberia’s obsession for the United States for America and its so-called superior way of life thoroughly intoxicate citizens of this oldest African nation to the extent that cow into submission whenever the US sneezes and yanks, never to raise a hand in opposition or question. It has taken few persons and institutions here in Liberia to do so. A Liberian Judge is standing in the rare gap, mustering the courage to respond to the recently widely published State Department report, while the entire Government, at least overtly, has not methodically and forcefully as a sovereign nation responded to a barrage of allegation against Liberia in that report. Here is Judge Eva Mappy Morgan, Chief Judge, Commercial Court of Liberia, writing the US Ambassador and by extention the US Government weird allegations of breach of human rights violation. See below Judge Morgan’s letter to the US Ambassador.
H.E. Michael A. McCarthy
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of
America accredited to the Republic of Liberia
5 April 2021
Dear Ambassador McCarthy
Re: US Department of State – 2020 Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Liberia. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, March 30, 2021
I refer to the matter above referenced in which the US State Department reports of an alleged malpractice by Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan of the Commercial Court of Liberia and cites the Global News Network (GNN) as the source of said reporting.
Excellency, I take it that you are much aware of that report. However, I have taken the liberty to highlight relevant parts of that writing concerning my alleged misconduct, bundled and branded under the caption Denial of Fair Public Trial. “In August the Global News Network reported that Eva Mappy Morgan, Chief Judge of the Commercial Court and President of the Association of Trial Judges of Liberia, was subject of an investigation for alleged malpractice. Morgan was linked to a 2013 communication in which it was the Commercial Court authorized the withdrawal without the consent of one of the litigation parties, of an amount of 3.4 million at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment which was being held in escrow pending final determination of a commercial dispute between Ducor Petroleum Inc and the Monrovia Trading Oil Company. The Court unilaterally ordered the withdrawal of more than three million plus from the bank…”
I will not hazard a guess as to why I am a subject of a human rights report, and /or why placed under the heading, Denial of Fair Public Trial. I will state especially for the record, and for posterity, that at no time was there ever an amount of $3.4 million dollars escrowed at the LBDI bank, and subject to my control. The entire story reported as by GBN is factually incorrect. The saga of the US3.4 million dollars is a long standing smear campaign peddled by some media pundits and unprincipled individuals. Consequently, and speaking on the issues of human rights, I wish to bring to your attention that the resulting effect of this long-lasting smear crusade, the irresponsible and toxic narrative by certain individuals continues to fuel threats of violence , hate speech and other forms of intimidation against me and my family.
Your Excellency, an independent judiciary must exist without fear such that rulings made by judges should never, and without any legal and factual foundation, be described as human rights violations. Notably, judges anywhere and everywhere must unquestioningly carry out their sacred responsibility of fair interpretation of the law. Those of us, that is judges who are saddled with this herculean task will not be browbeaten, and lose our independence to hear and determine matters based on the law. Even assuming that I authorized the disbursement of US3.4 million, and I did not same would be my decision on the matter. How such a ruling, if given, would morph into a human rights abuse/violation is perplexing. That said, I have attached for your records copy of a letter dated 31 March 2014 which explains the genesis of the US3.4 million, exonerating Judge Mappy Morgan from this allegation as wrongly reported. You will find from the enclosed letter that the Commercial Court was requested by lawyers representing the respondent to include the said US3.4 million as part of an impending audit. Similarly, the records available for review by anyone, interested in the truth, will reveal that the aforesaid transaction according to counsel for respondent, and their attached exhibits occurred during the period 2006/2008 to 2010.
In any event, historical records will show that the Commercial Court of Liberia formally opened in November 2011. I dare say that neither Judge Mappy Morgan nor the Commercial Court would have presided over matters previous to its opening. And, this Your Excellency could have been verified by a bit of due diligence prior to the US State Department Country Report, pulled from the GNN. I have also enclosed copy of the Daily Observer Newspaper dated 4 October 2018 in which respondent in a show case hearing absolves Judge Mappy Morgan of any activities related to the much –talked about US3.4 million dollars. Besides, the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) can be contacted to ascertain if US3.4 million was ever escrowed at said bank on instructions of Judge Mappy Morgan. Clearly, this is a deliberate mischaracterization of the proceedings at the Commercial Court, and an unrelenting effort to besmirch the reputation of the aforementioned Judge. Likewise, Honorable Ambassador, I am resolved in maintaining my dignity, and that of the Commercial Court of Liberia.
I also await the findings of the Judiciary Inquiry Commission on these unwarranted charges and have attached my responses to the Commission for your files. Further, you will find letters pertaining to the singular amount of US212, 704.36 which was escrowed at any local bank, and the account at the LBDI returned to status quo ante following this transaction. To iterate , at all material times, I , Judge Mappy Morgan did not have control, custody, access, authority, etc, over the fabled US3.4 million dollars and therefore could not have turned over any such amount to any party litigant. See, also enclosed an Irrevocable Stipulation dated 9 August 2013, signed by lawyers from the petitioner and respondent and approved by me, documenting their joint agreement on several aspects of the matter. Meanwhile, the petitioner in the subject proceedings has issued a Press Release titled: “MOTC concerned about and disappointed over persistent and long –running media reports’ published 27 January 2021, also enclosed for our files.
Excellency, my life, my reputation and that of my family is at risk here. This is why I am forwarding these records to clarify the issue and repair the damage the US Department of State reporting, based on GNN has done to my honor . But most importantly, to provide pertinent information in the case GNN or others decide to publish a story based on misrepresentations. I respectfully pray, Your Excellency, that future reporting on court proceedings or accusation of a judge in violation of any terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will require a much more serious investigation by the authors of such reports, than bank on a seemingly unreliable and unprofessional source.
Your Excellency, I too am a human being and entitled to my human rights. Therefore, I must emphatically state, and bring to your attention that the restatement and publication by the State Department of the United States of America of such baseless story, published by the GNN has the propensity to further endanger my life and violate my human rights. The same rights the aforementioned US State Department seeks to protect, and contends is being abused by me in particular and the Liberian Judiciary in general. Sir, you will agree that the United States of America holds an enviable position amongst the comity of nations, and that its reports, speeches, sanctions, endorsements etc., of any country or individual is pivotal to the overall welfare, or not, of such a person or state.
So Your Excellency, I respectfully request that the US State Department moves posthaste, to the extent possible, to seek the truth on the allegations that “Judge Morgan was linked to a 2013 communication in which it was alleged the Commercial Court authorized the withdrawal without consent of one of the litigating parties, of an amount of 3.4 million at the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment, which was being held in escrow pending final determination of a commercial dispute between Ducor Petroleum and the Monrovia Trading Oil Company..”
Your Excellency, I appreciate your attention to this very grave problem, and look forward to a fair assessment and reporting of the matter by the US State Department to protect my life, my reputation, same being a matter of my human rights.
Excellency, please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.
Eva Mappy Morgan
Chief Judge, Commercial Court of Liberia
Associate Professor of Law, Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law
President, National Association of Trial Judges, Liberia
Enclosure: 1) Letter dated 31 March; 2) Daily Observer Newspaper dated 4 October 2018; 3) Letters dated 29 July 2013; 4) Four (4) separate letters dated 24 July 2013; 5) Irrevocable Stipulation dated 9 August 2013; 6) Respondent Closing Memorandum dated 21 August 2020