Justice Banks Ends Petition Hearing in Sable Mining Case


Monrovia – Behind closed door with journalists disallowed, Associate Justice and Justice in Chamber of the Supreme Court Philip A.Z. Banks, III has ended a hearing into the Writ of Certorari filed to the high court by state prosecutors.

Report by Kennedy L. Yangian [email protected]

Associate Justice Banks last week at the start of the hearing asked all journalists who had assembled at the Supreme Court for the hearing to leave, claiming that the hearing was a conference intended only for the parties to the case.

However, sources closed to the hearing have said that it started on Thursday, April 13, 2017 ended Monday, April 17, 2017 at the Chamber of the Supreme Court with Justice Banks asking all parties to the case to present their legal memorandum.

No date was set for the ruling but a source indicated that the legal memorandum from the parties will pave the way for the determination of the case.

 Justice Banks’ hearing has grown out of writ of certiorari filed to him against the latest ruling in the case by Judge Yarmie Gbeisay to temporarily admit into evidence an e-mail presented by the prosecution.

 The writ of certiorari by law is a writ filed to the high court by the prosecution against the judgment of judges of subordinate courts.

Prior to the temporary admittance of the e-mail into evidence, Judge Gbeisay stated that he was temporarily admitting the e-mail until the witness linked to the e-mail can come and testify to the e-mail, citing Article (21) (a) of the Constitution as the basis of his ruling.

In the writ of certiorari, Chief Prosecutor Cllr. Daku Mulbah asked the Supreme Court to have Judge Gbeisay rescind his ruling, arguing that the ruling of Judge Gbeisay to temporarily admit the e-mail evidence was an inadvertent error.

The controversial e-mail which prosecution says is very cogent among its evidence  is reported to have been exchanges between co-defendant Varney Sherman and Sable Mining executives which has been acquired from an executive of the Sable Mining Hans Van Niekerk in South Africa.

Defense lawyers have counter argued for the Judge not to allow the e-mail into evidence on claims that the e-mail attributed to Cllr. Sherman was hacked.

Defense lawyers further contended that under the best evidence rule, before a document is admitted into evidence, a witness must appear before the court to testify to the document.

This is not the first time prosecutors have filed a writ of certiorari against the ruling of the judge to the Supreme Court.

In 2016, state lawyers filed another writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court then Justice in Chamber Jamesetta Wollokollie when Judge Blamo Dixon ruled and partly disbanded three jurors of the 12-member panel accused of tampering in the economic sabotage case against former boss of the National Port Authority (NPA) Matilda Parker and Comptroller Christiana Paelay.

Associate Justice Wolokollie ruled and disbanded the entire jury but the case is yet to be ruled to trial while it is pending before the full bench of the Supreme Court for adjudication.