Civil Society Group Describes Judge Gbeneweleh’s Ruling As “Submission to political Manipulations”
Monrovia – The National Civil Society Network of Liberia (NCSNL) has described Judge Gbeneweleh’s ruling into the Sable Mining bribery case as a “sad day and submission to political manipulations.”
“This ruling represents a sad day not only for the rule of law but further strengthens and validates rampant public perception that our courts are where justice is an asset of the monied and wealthy few”.
The release adds: “We are highly disappointed by the court’s submission to the political manipulations which derailed the weight and strength of the prosecution’s argument against the accused.”
The group in the release further described Judge Gbeneweleh’s ruling as a “blatant disregard of the judicial system.”
The NCSNL said that the hearing and disposition of cases of great importance to the court’s integrity as a bulwark of justice is one important means by which Liberia can attract international business partners and save the economy.
The release added that the NCSNL as an institution, feels that the conclusion of this case (Sable Mining bribery case) is a travesty burdening the conscience of justice in the country.
“It beats our imagination that even though in an instance in open court when an email containing conversation between Former speaker Alex J. Tyler and authorized sources of the company it was detailed that then speaker Tyler requested for US$250,000 for the collective members of the legislature when co- Defendant Cllr. Varney G. Sherman objected on ground that Hon. Tyler Sway was limited to only the House as such would only receive US$75,000, yet the judge treated this instrument of substance with neglect in giving a verdict which slurs the integrity and conscience of the court to our disdain,” the release stated.
The group noted that it believes that case is a grave criminal scheme that meets every requirement for the defendants to be convicted.
“We strongly believe that the Appellate court granting of the motion of the prosecution to admit as evidence emails and spreadsheets it obtained from Heine Van Niekerk was based on legal necessity, but trial court opinion that the materials were inadequate in the absence of the source consistent with the Hague Convention of 1969 represents the trashing of a crucial evidence against the defendants, hence conducing to their acquittal relative to this case is a precedent against the efforts to deter hardcore conspiracy against the public good.”