MONROVIA: Criminal Court A” Judge Roosevelt Willie has brought contempt of Court charge against Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean for the failure of the Justice Ministry to submit to the court the investigative report from the probation officers as was instructed by the trial judge just as the hearing of the contempt charges will hold today, Friday, January 5, 2024 at the Temple of Justice.
Following the final argument of the murder case involving former Chief Justice Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott and three others on December 21, 2023, Judge Willie announced Thursday, January 4, 2024 as the date for the announcement of the sentencing of Justice Gloria Musu-Scott and three others whose guilty verdict was brought down by the empanelled jury.
The trial judge at the time instructed the probation officer of the Ministry of justice to conduct an investigation on the demeanor of the four defendants convicted by the jury and submit their report on or before January 4, 2024, which was not done; a reason for which the contempt of Court charge was brought against Justice Minister Dean.
Judge Willie informed the court on Thursday, yesterday, during the sentencing hearing that since the twelve-man empaneled jury handed down a majority guilty verdict against former Chief Justice, Gloria Scott and four other family members on December, 21, . 2023, the court has not received any investigative report from the probation officers as was instructed by him up to the day of the hearing.
Judge Willie, however, said the probation officer informed the court through a telephone conversation that since he received the order on December 27, 2023, he has not conducted the investigation instructed him to do because the ministry of justice has not been able to provide funding to him to execute His Honor’s mandate .
The Court ‘A’ judge intimated that the failure by the Ministry of Justice to ensure compliance to his mandate is meant by the Ministry headed by Cllr. Frank Musu Dean to disregard his order, hence the Contempt of Court.
Accordingly, Judge Willie further ordered the clerk of court to issue a Writ of contempt on Justice Minister Cllr. Dean and the Director of Probation come and show the reason why they should not be held in contempt of court.
The writ was issued and the hearing of the contempt scheduled for Friday, January 5, 2024 at the grounds of Temple of Justice at 10:30 AM.
In the meantime, the hearing for the sentencing for defendants in the murder trial involving former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three other families and the Court’s final judgment in the matter is slated for Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at 9:00 AM.
On December 21, 2023, 11 out of the 12 membered jury voted guilty against the defendants at Criminal Court “A”, Temple of Justice and handed down a guilty verdict against former Chief Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott Gertrude Newton Alice Johnson and Rebecca Wisner for the murder of Ms. Charloe Musu, a daughter of defendants who was a graduating senior of Starz University, while one of the jurors voted not guilty.
The defense lawyers have taken exception to the verdict and appealed to the honorable Supreme Court of Liberia to review the verdict of the trial jurors.
During arguments by both sides of the case, the prosecution maintained that there was no break into the residence of Justice Scott on the night of the incident in which Charloe Musu was killed, furthering that they have proven their case beyond all reasonable doubts that convinced the jury to hand down a guilty verdict against the defendants.
The prosecution also claimed Justice Scott used pepper spray, which was applied to the victim, although defendant Scott noted it was used on a assassin that went into her residence during the incident, but prosecution countered that version from the former Chief Justice and argued that any perpetrator from outside the pepper-spread was used on could not have been able to escape the scene. For their part, the defense lawyers counter-argued that all of the prosecution witnesses didn’t link any of the defendants to the killing of the deceased.
The defense lawyers continued that Justice Scott, on many occasions, informed the Liberia National Police that her life was threatened and that someone was after her life prior to the day of the incident, but the police did not protect her; but instead advised her to increase the private unarmed security at her home.
In a heated argument, the defense further said the government of Liberia charged these defendants wrongly with the crime of murder while the murderer is out there, urging the Liberia National Police to redirect its investigation towards Mayor Jefferson Koijee, Varlee Telleh and others.
he defense said the murder’s weapon prosecution claimed was never produced in court, and that apart from the nine prosecution said the victim sustained, there additional wounds were discovered.
During the argument, the defense informed the jurors that Dr. Matthias Okoye, the foreign pathologists brought into the country for the second autopsy told the court that the defendants did not kill the victim, there was a force used against the victim, and displayed the DNA sample that proved that none of the defendants did the act.
The defense said prosecution witness Zion Tarr told the court and jurors that he heard a noise coming from the Former Chief Justice’s house and as a security guard assigned, he went to see what was happening; and Co-defendant Gertrude Newton told him armed robbery jumped on them in the house then.