LINA – Supreme Court Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor has called on Government agencies responsible to investigate cases to become more robust in playing their rightful roles.
“It is not enough to just condemn these wanton acts… the cases must be handled to the logical conclusions; let us not wait until Justices, Judges or Magistrates becomes a fata victim before actions are taken,” he said.
Justice Korkpor added: “In a similar manner, we call on the Government for the protection of the ordinary citizens. Recent reports of killings, whether real, orchestrated or imagined, need to be fully investigated and appropriate actions taken..
Chief Justice Korkpor spoke Monday at the joint and formal opening of the October A.D 2021 Term of the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia.
“A case in point is the recent malicious and damaging story written by Francis Nah and Yama Saylee against Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Willie, alleging that the judge was caught receiving bribe to release several domestic and dangerous terrorist members from the Monrovia Central Prison on August 29, 2021,” he said.
Korkpor further observed that Yama wrote another publication again accusing Judge Willie of selling Liberian Justice System for two hundred and fifty LD, noting that the Judge denied the veracity of the articles and reported the case to the Press Union of Liberia who after conducting an investigation found that’’ every story written against him was unfounded, baseless, false and misleading.”
Furthermore, the entire publication lacked accuracy and balance as the writers failed to contact Judge Willie to get his side of the story and that all the standards required of a journalist were violated or ignored.
The Chief Justice also thanked the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and Judge Willie for reporting the matter and PUL for conducting a thorough investigation in the case.
“But I should note that this is just a minute example of the many misinformation and character assassination that members of the judiciary endure from time-to- time.
“Many of such stories and machinations go without redress unfortunately and these are outlets and measures used by some members of the public to judge the judiciary.”
Chief Justice Korkpor pointed out that in this case, Judge Willie has remedy under the law through the issuance of contempt proceedings or the outright filing of a defamation suit.
But he elected not to exercise either option because of the predicted outcry cynics of the judiciary would use to claim muscling of press freedom.
As the result of publication like these, Korkpor stressed, justices, judges, and magistrates continue to constantly receive threats of harm, and the intent is to intimidate, create a chilling effect, and undermine the rule of law.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Korkpor also said that threats of physical harm to a person present the worst form of influence that can be exerted over that person, and therefore called on Government investigate every case of threat in the country.
The program was graced with the presence of the First Lady Clar Marie Weah and the President of Liberia, Dr. George Weah along with foreign guests and the Liberia Senate.