Protests by officers assigned to the Monrovia Central Prison over unpaid salaries on Monday, December 4, prompted Criminal Court ‘A’ to postpone its questioning of Varlee Telleh, the bodyguard of Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, in the Charloe Musu murder trial.
But the officers’ action prevented the defendants, including former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott, from being transported to the courthouse from jail, according to Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie.
“We have received a report from the Monrovia Central Prison, where the prison authority has informed the court that they are not accepting any prisoners from the court, nor are they allowing any inmates to get out,” Willie further explained to the parties.
Judge Willie quoted the prison officers saying, “they told the Court through their director, Verney Lake, that the prison workers said, that they are supposed to receive said money that they have not received and, therefore, until they can receive that money, they will not allow any inmates to go to prison or come out.”
Willie added, “when, we received this information, we called the minister of justice, to inform him about the situation, and how serious it is, because this is the second time it has occurred, and this case is supposed to be expeditiously, handled and completed forthwith.”
According to him, the minister informed the court through him, that they will handle everything possible, “and we will resume these proceedings. This is the reason you have not seen all of the defendants, nor the trial jurors.”
“Since we don’t know when they will solve this problem, we don’t want to reschedule this case for (tomorrow, December 5), but rather for Wednesday, December 6,” Willie noted.
Judge Willie’s justification comes after some debate in the courtroom over how to proceed in the absence of the accused, the jury and the special witness Telleh.
Telleh was to be cross-examined by the court, jurors, defense lawyers and prosecution on who he may have contacted from February 21, up to February 25, 2023, through his Orange GSM number (0777-142-113), which he allegedly used between February 21 and February 25, following the alleged murder of Charloe Musu at the residence of former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott on February 22, 2023.
He stands accused of being the suspected attacker and killer, but his role as a witness in the trial does not suggest that he is a defendant.
Meanwhile the protest affected several other courts throughout the country, particularly the Monrovia City Court, where several suspected criminals, who were expected to be jailed at the prison facility, were remanded at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police.
Source: Daily Observer