By Melvin Jackson
MONROVIA: After a defense expert witness discredited State Witness testimonies in the murder trial involving Justice Gloria Musu Scott, Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie has subpoenaed the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Col. Patrick Sudue to testify in the murder trial.
Judge Willie on Monday November 27, 2023 subpoenaed the police Inspector general to produce the report of the April 25, 2022 case, and also the ledger that is being or was testified to by his representative, Detective Curtis B. Koffa, that he sent to the court.
The Court says failure for the police Inspector General to appear and produce those documents and testify to them, the Court will be left with no alternative but to hold him in contempt to show reason why this Court should not hold him in contempt and apply the necessary punishment in keeping with law.
The order by the court grew out of testimony that former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott reported on April 25, that her vehicle’s license plates were stolen, constituting the second incident of attack on her person at the Headquarters of Liberia National Police, and that she reported that incident to the Liberia National Police through the Inspector General.
Accordingly, The Criminal Court “A” Judge mandated that the document be provided no later than Thursday, November 30, 2023, at 10:00am.
Judge Willie ordered “the Clerk to do another subpoena Duces’ Tecum Ad Testificandum to the Inspector General, Patrick Sudue to produce the report of the April 25, 2022 and also the ledger that is being or was testified to by the Representative that was sent here in person of Det. Curtis B. Koffa…”
The Court further ordered that these documents should be brought to the Court to be testified to by Inspector General Patrick Sudue on Thursday, November 30, 2023, at 10:00am.” And they noted that there will be contempt of court upon failure for the police director to appear and produce those documents and testify to them, the Court will be left with no alternative but to hold him in contempt to show reason why this Court should not hold him in contempt and apply the necessary punishment in keeping with law.
The subpoena Duces’ Tecum Ad Testificandum to the Inspector General, Patrick Sudue, is predicated upon the court reasoning that there are two (2) incidents regarding vehicle intrusion of Co-Defendant Gloria Musu Scott, one in her yard where an intruder went and ransacked her vehicle.
According to a Witness who testified in open court, although Cllr. Scott reported that incident to the Police, she destroyed the evidence because she used the vehicle on that same day and according to her, the vehicle broke down near the St. Paul’s Bridge.
Adding the two incidents that occurred at the home of the former chief Justice, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott destroyed the evidence because when they went there, she had already worked or replaced where the alleged intruder passed.
Meanwhile, the court documents provide that the subpoena is also in relation to the incident that occurred at the National Elections Commission, stating that the Director of Police has not addressed that issue before the Court, unlike the vehicle incident that occurred in the yard of Madam Gloria Musu Scott.
It can be recalled that the defendants in the case involving former Chief Justice Scott produced an expert witness who rubbished the state testimony in the case.
It was a scene of interest during his testimonies at the Criminal Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice, on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 when Defense Expert Witness, Col. Nathaniel Sieh Hodge, questioned the professional and ethical validity of the police investigative report that led to the charging of Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three others.
Col. Hodge, a former assistant director for criminal investigation and intelligence at Liberia National Police (LNP), special assistant and deputy director for special services at the National Security Agency (NSA), told the court and jury that he believes the crime of murder was planned and built up over a period before it was committed by someone or persons order then the people being prosecuted.
He said as a member of the defense and court observation team to Justice Scott’s home, he was first interested in knowing the possibility of an intruder entering the premises without being detected, so he paid keen attention to the exterior part of the compound, where he observed that from the fence gate, there’s a tree very close to the fence in few meters that anybody wanting to enter the yard can climb, since the fence is not more than nine feet.
Col. Hodge explained that further down to the fence is another tree, which is a plum tree, that can be used by a criminal minded person to intrude into the compound, and furthered that from the beginning of the eastern point to the western point of the fence, there are two cornerstones, one short and one long about 4 feet that a person can climb on and look into Justice Scott’s yard, an experiment he said a female member of the visiting team tried and was able to see the inner part of the compound.
He mentioned also that from the western point to the northern point, there are several trees close to the fence, and at the back is a house that is also close to the fence with trees, many possible means of entry into the yard.
According to Col. Hodge, when he and other members of the team entered the compound, he also paid keen attention to the interior part of the fence and noticed that there are several trees planted in the compound that any criminal minded person can climb and stay there to wait for an opportunity to execute his or mission.
The former LNP and NSA top investigator further said he took a look at the outside and inside parts of the building itself and noticed that the vehicle park is at the front of the house and the family normally used the back to enter the house from the outside (country kitchen) to enter the house through the main kitchen.
On the evening of the murder, Col. Hodge said he found out that Justice Scott drove home and the gate was opened for her. The gate, he said, has a central locking system and two small iron bars all of which take time to open.
The expert witness explained that Cllr. Scott then drove to the garage, where some items that were in her car were being towed through the kitchen into the house, and as an experienced investigator, he also believes that anybody wanting and waiting to enter the house could have used the time they were taking the items from the vehicle to sneak in because it would take not less than three minutes from the garage into the house, and therefore, somebody could have sneaked in.
“I also discovered that there is a guest room that was not being used by anybody at the time and so any intruder could have used the opportunity to secure himself in there,” he said, arguing that regarding the charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and giving false statements to law enforcement officials, he read the police charge sheet and read other statements made, but there is no indication whatsoever, to inform the court and jury that there was any bad relationship between the now dead person and those that have been charged.
Accordingly he said he could not understand why the defendants were being prosecuted for murder; wondering, “so what would cause four persons of the same family including a grandmother over 80 years old, to have murdered a family member.”
As for criminal conspiracy as mentioned in the police charge sheet, Col. Hodge said in his professional understanding, there must be a motive for the family members to have conspired because there’s no conspiracy without a motive. There has to be malice aforethought, but in this case, it is not established by the police investigation, so, there are questions of who organized the conspiracy, why did they have to conspire to commit such heinous crime of murder.