By Melvin Jackson
MONROVIA: The Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai, yesterday paid a visit to former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three other family members incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison on the charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and false reports to law enforcement officers.
The visit of Ambassador Boakai at the prison to the accused persons is the second time that Unity Party executives and stalwarts visited the prison to sympathize with Cllr. Scott and her relatives, Ma Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, Gertrude Newton, and Alice Johnson, who are being detained with her.
The first visit to the Monrovia Central Prison by Unity Party stalwarts to see Justice Scott and others was on the first day of their incarceration when UP Chairman Rev Luther Tarpeh and some senior members trooped to the prison as a sign of solidarity to the former Chief Justice.
Ambassador Boakai’s visit yesterday came barely a day after Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie of Criminal Court “A” at the Temple of Justice denied a Motion by defense lawyers seeking the court to Admit to Bail the four defendants.
Although the security protocol that attended Ambassador Boakai’s visit prevented the media from covering details of the visit, sources said the UP flagbearer encouraged Justice Scott and relatives to be strong and courageous that justice will one day visit the family for the death of their daughter Charloe Musu.
According to the UP sources who confided in this paper, despite being denied bail bond for the second, Cllr. Scott was in high spirit, noting that she is convinced the case against her is political based on the decision of the judge to deny her bail. She said her spirit is only dampened by the fact that the daughter whom she loved so much is no more, and that she and others are being unjustly maligned for something they did not do.
Cllr. Scott was said to be especially elated by the outpouring of love and affection from not only Ambassador Joseph Boakai, but scores of prominent and ordinary Liberians, including former Foreign Minister Olubanke King Akerele, who continue to visit her in prison to show solidarity.
The Republic of Liberia charged Cllr. Scott and three relatives with multiple criminal offenses for the alleged murder of Charlotte Musu, a prospective Starz University graduate who was murdered when an unknown assassin reportedly visited the residence of Justice Scott in Virginia, Outside Monrovia on February 22, 2023.
The Courts of Liberia on two occasions denied former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and her relatives bail at the Temple of Justice, the first being the Monrovia City Court stipendiary Ben Barco who denied the bail on grounds that the court lacks jurisdiction over the matter.
Similarly, the Criminal Court ‘A’ of Judge Roosevelt Willie on Tuesday, July 4, denied the motion to admit to bail the defendants as filed by lawyers representing the four accused including former Justice Scott who served the country as Justice Minister, Probate Court Judge, Maryland County Senator and head of the Constitution Review Commission.
Despite constitutional provisions and laws cited for personal recognizance, and the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia Chapter 13, Subsection 13.1, Judge Willie denied the defendants’ Motion to Admit to Bail but asked state prosecutors to prove beyond all reasonable doubt the guilt of the defendants as required by law when the case is assigned.
He also ruled that the prosecution should ‘produce all pieces of evidence against the defendants on July 5, 2023.
Although he cited Article 21(d)(i) which states that “All accused persons shall be billable upon their recognizance or by sufficient sureties depending on the gravity of crime unless crimes of capital offenses or grave offenses as defined, he notwithstanding said the offense is a capital offense which is not entitled to bail.
Recently, the defense lawyers filed a motion seeking to admit defendants to bail after the state issued the indictment against the defendants, contending that proof of the state is not evident and the presumption is not great, noting that the accused are entitled to bail as provided by the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia 13.1.
The defense lawyers further argued that defendants Musu Scott, Ma Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, Gertrude Newton, and Alice Johnson respectfully prayed the court to grant their Motion to Bail for the following factual and legal reasons as submitted in the Motion, but the motion was denied.