No Evidence, Or Intentional Delay In Cummings Case?

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The presiding magistrate of the Monrovia City Court, Temple of Justice, Magistrate Jomah Jallah, on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 suspended and ordered prosecution lawyers to present to the court all documents and pieces of evidence for the prosecution of the crimes of forgery and criminal conspiracy allegation brought against Alexander B. Cummings, Political Leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC).

   “This court says prosecution is hereby mandated by this honorable court to submit to the clerk of this court every and all pieces of evidence it relies on for the prosecution of the case for onward transmission to the defense within the statute time required by law, and is hereby so ordered. At this stage, charges are suspended with the usual insurance of assignment, and hereby so ordered,’’ Magistrate Jallah stated.

   The court’s decision was based upon request from defense lawyers representing the ANC Political Leader, Alexander B. Cummings, and others, who requested that prosecution lawyers present to the court all pieces of evidence they have in connection with the charges and allegation against the ANC Political Leader and stalwarts.

   The defense lawyers requested the Judge to order the prosecution lawyers to produce and present documents to the court based on the initial CPP framework agreement that was signed by the parties via zoom on May 19, 2020, and also present the revised version of the CPP framework agreement that was reviewed by the team of lawyers and submitted through the Political Leader of the CPP by and through the CPP National Council.

   The defense continued by saying that the prosecution lawyers should present images, emails and WhatApp exchanges between the ALP Political Leader, Benoni Urey, and the CPP internal leadership structure, present all social media exchanges from the National Advisory Council of the CPP chat room, and provide copy of the CPP framework agreement submitted and acknowledged by the National Elections Commission (NEC).

   The defendant also prayed the magistrate to order the prosecution lawyers to present the resolution executed by ALP in respect to the ALP legalization to enter into, execute and sign the CCP framework agreement, adding that all minutes of meeting of the National Advisory Council of the CPP during the period of ALP leadership, and that of Senator Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence leadership, as well as copy of the CPP internal investigation report with respect to the ALP allegation that the CPP framework document was altered and all other pieces of evidence the prosecution rely upon and intent to produce in the proceeding, including comprehensive list of the names and addresses of witnesses and not limited to subpoena witnesses. The request is consistent with Chapter 17.4 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia and the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, Article 21, as it relates to the fundamental rights of the defendants to due process and the right to notice.

   Following the application made by the defense lawyers, the prosecution lawyers prayed Judge Jallah to grant them time in accordance with Chapter 17.4 sub-paragraph 1, Title 2, Liberia Code of Law, which provides for discovery of witness names, to make modification.

   The prosecution lawyers argued that the statute provides that 5 days after the commencement of trial or prior, and in respect of that prosecution submit, they will provide the names of witnesses and duly provide what is available for prosecution in order to proceed with the case.

   Meanwhile, Magistrate Jomah Jallah denied and dismissed motion from prosecution lawyers to have the case or hearing televised to enable the public to have knowledge of the proceeding, which they say is consistent of Chapter 3 of the 1986 Constitution.

   Magistrate Jallah ruled that the motion is against Rule 11 of the Judicial Canon of the Republic of Liberia, which provides that it is improper for a judge to permit live broadcast, electronic recording or taking of photograph of court during proceeding.

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