Liberia: Supreme Court Stalls Release of Darius Dillon Brother from Prison
Monrovia – Supreme Court Justice in Chambers, Joseph Nagbe, on Tuesday placed a stay order on the release of Oliver Dillon, just few hours after the Criminal Court “A” Judge had ordered his release on bail.
Report by Kennedy L. Yangian [email protected]
Judge Roosevelt Willie on Tuesday, May 7, issued the order when he ruled into a motion filed by the Defense counsel requesting the release of Dillion on bail.
But Judge Willie’s order has been stayed until May 15. This means Dillon, brother of Abraham Dillon, a strong critic of the government, would remain in prison until the Justice in Chambers, and possibly the full bench looks into the judge’s ruling.
The stay order on Judge Willie’s ruling was triggered by a Writ of Certiorari sought by the state lawyers.
Defense lawyer Cllr. Wiefuah Sayeh argued that a Defendant can be admitted to bail for capital offence when the presumption is not great or the evidence is not proven as is in the case of Defendant Dillon.
“Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, Movant prays your honor to grant and admit to bail Movant/Defendant Oliver Dillon and grant unto the movant any and all further relief as your honor may seem just and equitable in these proceedings” Defense lawyer Sayeh added in his motion for bail.
State lawyers resisted the motion in a counter argument and asked the court to deny and dismiss the motion.
They argued that the defendant’s motion does not apply in the instant case where the state has established proof not by presumption but by exact description of the killer of Emmanuel Kofa and as such said motion from the Defense counsel should be dismissed and grant unto the state any other relief that the Judge may seem just legal and equitable in the proceeding.
Following the arguments, Judge Willie accepted the bail claiming that the country’s laws as enshrined in Criminal Procedure Law Section 13.11 titled the right to bail subtitled criminal offenses stated that a person in the custody for a commission of capital offense before conviction be entitled to the right to bail unless the presumption is not great and evident proven.
Judge Wiilie continued that charged the Defendant is murder while he does not want to dwell into whether or not the Defendant committed murder or not from the facts and circumstances as herein indicated the elements of murder are defined under Section 14.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law are not great neither is it evident.
“A bail is not intended to free and Defendant but rather it enables the Defendant to be out of prison and come to court whenever he/she is needed, as in this case or any case where the proof is not evident and the presumption not great an accused can be placed on bail,” Judge Will stated.
In admitting Dillon to bail, Judge Willie said Dillon should file the appropriate bond as defined by law, bring five eminent persons from his community with their photos and place of resident to be ascertained by the Sheriff of the court where they have to stand as sureties for the Defendant
According to Judge, the accused while on bail will report to the Sheriff office three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:00 to sign the attendance sheet; however, the Judge stated failure on the part of Defendant Dillon to abide by these guidelines will leave the court with no alternative but declare the Defendant as bail jumping and he will be arrested and re-incarcerated.
State prosecutor took exception to the ruling and gave notice that they will take advantage of the statute as requires by law.
Defendant Dillion was charged with murder by the police after he allegedly stabbed to death Emmanuel Kofa on April 12 in the Gardnesville Supermarket Community.
He alleged that Kofa and two other guys had tried to rob him around 12:00 Am and that the area in which he allegedly stabbed Kofa is considered a criminal area where he has been robbed before.