MONROVIA: The family of former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three other co-defendants have rejected the guilty verdict handed down upon them by the trial jury of the Charloe Musu Murder case at the Criminal Court “A” saying that the jury was compromised to have ignored the facts and circumstances in the case by coming down with a guilty verdict upon the accused.
Accordingly, the family has vowed to take on the verdict at the Supreme Court, and promised that they will proceed to the ECOWAS Court if they cannot get justice within the Liberian jurisprudence.
On Thursday, December 21, 2023, the 11 of the 12 trial jurors at the Criminal Court “A” presided over by Judge Roosevelt Willie handed down a unanimous guilty verdict against the defendants including former Chief Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, Gertrude Newton Alice Johnson and Rebecca Wisner but the defense lawyers excepted to the verdict and took flight to the Supreme Court on appeal.
By the guilty verdict, the former Chief Justice along with the three other defendants is to serve life sentences unless they obtain relief from the Supreme Court to which they appeal the verdict of the jury to.
The defendants were charged on June 12, 2023 by the Special Grand Jury of Montserrado with allegations of Murder, Criminal Conspiracy, and giving a false alarm to law enforcement officers.
But the family rejected the verdict as family spokesman Nathaniel Hansford vowed the family will fight until justice is dispensed. “We will seek recourse; yes, we will. The person who killed Charloe Musu is the one the Justice Ministry is supposed to find and go after. You cannot go after ordinary people who are already victims; and you think you will put them behind bars because you want to satisfy some group of people,” the spokesman of the family told judicial reporters at the Temple of Justice.
The family accused Solicitor General Nyanati Tuan of tampering with the trial jury, saying that he was exposed during the course of the trial in the lower court by the first security who was manning the jury.
The Gloria Musu Scott family maintained that they will challenge the verdict at the Supreme Court in their quest for justice, noting that where they do not get justice they will be inclined to go to the ECOWAS Court.
“Let’s go to the Supreme Court, we will test the system. If we don’t get justice we will go to the ECOWAS Court. We will be compelled to go to the ECOWAS Court because the process was criminalized, the process was not cleared,” the family’s spokesman declared
According to him, “We are not going to compromise our quest for justice in this matter. They will not be allowing the killers to be outside, while they come after the family which has already been victimized. No! We are not going to stop here.”
The family through their spokesman reasoned that the Solicitor General who is the chief prosecutor of the government criminalized the case when he bribed jurors hearing the case. “For the Solicitor General to visit the jurors in the night speaks to the fact that the justice system needs reproach,” he said in an emphatic tone.
He said the compromising of the case is evident of the fact that the Solicitor-General was removed from the proceedings, after he was exposed by the security manning the jury in the trial. “Why was the solicitor general removed from the proceedings? It is because the solicitor general decided to induce jurors. He has criminalized the process.”
He said since it was noticed that the state compromised the trial involving Justice Scott and three of her family members, the family did not expect a different result other than the guilty verdict. “We did not come here expecting different results; we have recognized the fact that they have bribed the entire system. I came to the court and I know the result because the solicitor general secretly visited the jury which speaks to the fact that the entire process was compromised.”
Mr. Hansford speaking angrily at the Temple of Justice intoned, “But we are going into the Supreme Court; we will not allow this kind of kangaroo process.
The Gloria Scott family calls for the disbarment of the Solicitor General Nyanti Tuan, saying that the Liberia National Bar Association needs to take action against him.
Emphasizing that the jurors were bribed, the Scott-Musu family said the verdict of the trial jury tells you how criminal this regime is, noting the extent to which the jurors were tampered with. If not so, he asked, “Why should the solicitor general reduce himself to bribing the jury in a process he said he committed to? Why did he go to the building secretly? Is it the same officer that [exposed him] still manning the jurors or why was he changed?”
Mr. Hansford called on the journalists to do their own investigation of these hypotheses, especially using the clue that the security officer who was manning the jury and exposed the solicitor general tampering with the jury was changed and removed from managing the jury.
Asked whether he was disappointed, Mr. Hansford said “We are not disappointed because we know the process was being criminalized. I am not disappointed because instead of justice we have injustice.”
He furthered, “If you think we are going to stop here then you are on planet Pluto. As far as we are concerned, the guys criminalized the process; as far as we are concerned the guys manufacture the verdict. The man who was supposed to be the chief prosecutor of Liberia … sneaked into the temple of Justice to bribe a jury; is it justice? Why did they change the man who nabbed the solicitor sneaking into the jury? Look, the process is being criminalized,” he concluded.
The statement by the family spokesman followed a guilty verdict brought down by the trial verdict in the case for which the grand jury had charged the defendants with violating Title 26, chapter 14, section 14.1; Chapter 10, section 10.4; and Chapter 12, section 12.33 of the new penal law of Liberia, as stated in the indictment stated.
The indictment charged that on February 22, 2023, at about 10:00 PM, Cllr. Gloria Musu-Scott, Gertrude Newton, Alice Johnson, and Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, “with criminal intent, armed themselves with a sharp instrument believed to be a knife and pepper spray.
They willfully, intentionally, purposely, and maliciously inflicted several bodily injuries on Charlotte Musu, including her chest, right hand, left thigh, and left armpit, leading to her death and thereby committing the crime of murder.”
But the family rejected the verdict, saying they will challenge it to the Supreme Court and if possible to the ECOWAS Court of Justice.