Liberia: Gov’t Lawyers Petition Court to Stop Rep. Kolubah, Others from Travelling

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Monrovia – State prosecutors have petitioned the Criminal Court ‘A’ through a ‘Writ of Ne Exeat Republica’ to stop Representative Yekeh Kolubah and six others from leaving the country until they face trial in their alleged criminal charges leveled against them by the state.

The ‘Writ of Ne Exeat Republica’ was filed before Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie of Criminal Court ‘A’ on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Rep. Kolubah, Mohammed A. Keita, Abu Keita, Oliver C. Konneh, Johnson Kpor, Varma Kolubah, Mohammeh S. Kaba are currently facing prosecution for the crimes of Aggravated Assault, Criminal attempt to commit murder, Kidnaping, Criminal facilitation/Criminal solicitation.

A Ne Exeat Republica is an order issue by a court to prevent a person indicted or defendant (s) from leaving the country.

According to the petition, state prosecutors alleged that Rep. Kolubah and the others are flight risk and could evade prosecution in the matter by leaving the country.

State lawyers also mentioned that they have observed the lawmaker has not filed any bond as provided for under Chapter 63 Section 63.1 of the Civil Procedure Law as such a ‘Ne Exeat Republica’ be issued against him and others to prevent them from the country.

Government lawyers further stated that the issuance of the Writ of Ne Exeat Republica will prevent the defendants from leaving the country for other parts of the world until they face prosecution in the matter.

“Prosecution prays this Honorable Court to order the issuance of the Writ of Ne Exeat Republica against the defendants herein to prevent them from leaving the bailiwick of Liberia and to make themselves available to answer to the crimes charged and grant unto the plaintiff any other relief that your honor may deem just and legal,” excerpt of the petition.

The Writ of Ne Exeat Republica was filed against the lawmaker by state lawyers after his criminal appearance bond/surety bond was denied by Judge Willie of Criminal Court ‘A’.

The lawmaker’s bond was denied on ground that the property used was not clear of taxes, and that the surety (Cllr. Findley Karngar) was not present in court to justify the property as a qualify bond.

Following the ruling on Wednesday, Judge Willie ordered that the lawmaker and the others be rearrested to appear before the court to justify their bail bond.

Rep. Kolubah’s bond was denied along with six others the day after he (Kolubah) turned himself over to the court to face prosecution. 

He was escorted to the court on early Tuesday morning by Representatives Beyan Howard, Francis Nyumalin and Thomas Gorshau to sign for the indictment drawn against him.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing Rep. Kolubah and the six others have filed a motion before Judge Willie for him to reverse his earlier decision denying the bond posted by their clients. They filed it before the judge on Thursday, June 27.

In the motion, the defense counsels said the ruling of the judge is inconsistent with law and facts obtaining in the records of the case.

The defense counsels also maintain that Section 13.4 of the Criminal Procedure Law provides that, “The prosecuting Attorney may except to the sufficiency of a surety by filing a written notice of exception with Clerk of Court and serving it upon the defendant and the surety within three days after approval of the bond.”

But on the contrary, the defendants and the sureties have not been served the purported prosecution written notice of exception, adding that any adverse ruling against the defendants or their sureties without satisfaction of the law will be unfair and contrary to the fundamental notions of justice.

The defense lawyers also claimed that the property posted by Cllr. Findley and his wife worth US$35,000 with taxes paid is far in excess of the amount required for a criminal appearance bond in aggravated assault case.

“As for the qualification of the surety, the statue requires that the bond be accompanied by surety of two natural persons. Clearly, Cllr. Findley Karngar and wife aforesaid are qualified to stand as sureties. What then is the defect in the bond?”

Motion adds: “Wherefore, movants pray your honor to rescind your Honor’s ruling aforesaid, denied prosecution exceptions to defendants’ bond, and grant unto movants such other relief as may deem just and equitable.”

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