“Cummings Will Be Exonerated” -Cllr. Sillah, Says Allegation Frivolous

As the wait is on for the commencement of the trial on the allegation forgery and criminal conspiracy levied against the Standard Bearer of the Alternative National Congress(ANC), Mr. Alexander B. Cummings and two other officials of the ANC by Mr. Benoni W Urey of the All Liberia Party, the lead counsel of Mr. Cummings, Cllr. Abraham Sillah has said that at the end of the day, his clients will be exonerated as the charges levied against them are “frivolous and cooked up” intended to defame the high earned reputation and character of Mr. Cummings.

Cllr. Sillah, made the assertion last week on the premises of the Monrovia Civil Court, when he responded to questions posed to him by newsmen right after Judge Jomah Jallah handed down ruling denying the motion by prosecution asking the court to televised the trial of Cummings and his co-accused, Senator Daniel Naathen and Atty Aloysius Toe, Chairman and Secretary General of the ANC respectively.

“I am very much confident about his innocence. I am 100% confident about his innocence. He is a man of character, a good man, a decent man, that is the reason why attempts are being made to lower him to their standard; so attempts are being made to bring him to their level with  the sole intent to damage his reputation, so that they can all find themselves in the same category;  Good, God is above all else, our efforts, the law will be used and we will provide adequate representation for Mr. Cummings and others so that the truth crushed to the ground will rise”

When asked to state the main thrust of the allegation, Cllr. Sillah said that the Government of Liberia is alleging that Mr. Cummings and the other two defendants, Senator Naatein and Atty Toe, conspire to alter the CPP framework regarding the period for a party to exit the collaboration thereby deceiving the ALP and the public that the period for exiting the collaboration was resolved and according to them (ALP and Government) it was not resolved. “That is the substance of the allegation against Mr. Cummings and the two defendants”, Cllr. Sillah said succinctly.

The learned legal mind lamented the extent to which the Government had elevated the case which according to him is a petite offense, describing it as a second degree misdemeanor which has a sentence that is not more than 4 months and a fine that is less than $1,000.00 if the accused is guilty.

“Can you imagine such a petty offense, requesting for a televised trial, I think it is ridiculous. It shows the intent and motive of the request they made. Thankfully, the Judge knows the law and as we made the reference to the law, the rules of the court as well as the cannons prohibit the use of televised gadgets, cameras, in the courtroom to record the trial because it distracts the court, the jury, the judge, so we are very thankful that the judge has the spine, the courage to have denied the motion we said was frivolous. The charges against Mr. Cummings and the others are cooked up. They are well planned and calculated to defame his high earned reputation and it is certain that the truth crushed to the ground will rise”.

Responding to a question to give some details of the allegation against his clients and how the legal team intends to go about defending the allegations, Cllr. Sillah said that the allegation is about the framework document of the opposition bloc, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) that was initially signed by the leaders of constituent political parties via Zoom during the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said as a consequence of the confusion that came out of the document, some lawyers were asked to review the document in order to make it more consistent with the intention of what the CPP is. He said the lawyers reviewed the document and submitted the revised version of the document to the leadership of the CPP and that his team has requested a copy of the document plus other relevant information and documentation so as to defend what the prosecution has alleged before the court.

“We want a copy of that, we want all the copies of all the email transmissions between the ALP and the other political leaders, we want documentation with respect to the leadership of the Senator Karnga-Lawrence, these things are key to establishing the facts and because we know about  them. We have asked them to produce them. If they do not produce them, the law is that they will not have the opportunity to use them in court”, Cllr. Sillah said.

When asked to provide information about the evidence his team has asked the prosecution to provide before the court, Cllr Sillah said they have listed them and they are in their records, stressing on the legal reliance under the country’s criminal justice system that one who alleges has the burden of proof, persuasion and production to defend and proof their allegation beyond reasonable doubts.

“So they accused Mr. Cummings and others, so the burden is on them to bring documentation that will establish their case. What we have done, is to tell them that you have made these allegations, these are documentations we are aware of , if you have them, produce them, if you don’t have them, that which you have produce them, because what they produced and present to us is  what they are going to use during trials, nothing else”, he noted.

Cllr. Sillah who predicted that the case may take between 3 to 6 weeks to be concluded for what he called the “slow pace with which our system work”, also reiterated that he has explicit confidence in the character, reputation and innocence of Mr. Cummings and his clients and his team will do all their best with God above to provide adequate representation so that “the truth that has been crushed to the ground will rise”.

It can be recalled that while denying the motion of the prosecution headed by Cllr. Saymah Syrenius Cephus for a televised trial of the case against Cummings and others, the Court had asked for the evidence requested by the defense team to be presented in five days so that the trial will commence.

Comments are closed.