Liberia: Oliver Dillon Alleged Murder Trial Set for November Term of Court
Monrovia – The murder trial of Oliver Dillon, the younger brother of Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, is set for the November Term of Court at Criminal Court ‘A’ in Monrovia.
The trial was moved to the November Term of Court by Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie of Criminal Court ‘A’ where the defendant has been arraigned.
The case was initially placed on the docket of the court (Criminal Court ‘A’) for the August Term of Court.
Defendant Oliver Dillon was arrested, investigated and charged by the Liberia National Police in April 2019 for the alleged murder of Emmanuel Koffa, a resident of Gardnerville.
Following the police charge, defendant Dillon was forwarded to court, and subsequently sent to the Monrovia Central Prison on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 for pre-trial detention.
While behind bars, defendant Dillon was indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County to face trial for the alleged crime.
Defendant Dillon was the Coordinator for Decentralization at the Ministry of Transport.
Meanwhile, Judge Willie decision to try the defendant Dillon during the November Term of Court was based on the prosecution’s request.
“The court says and per the prosecution’s submission that the case should be passed over to the November term, this court grants said submission, and that during the November Term this case will be tried and disposed of. And as the prosecution further stated, either of the parties, meaning either the defendant or the prosecution can make an assignment or the court will sua sponti (act in accordance with the law).”
In the submission, prosecution argued that the August Term of Court has expired and as such the trial of the case should be done during the November Term of Court.
They also argued that since the case was not tried during the August Term of Court, trying it during the 2nd Day closing of the Chamber Session of the August Term of Court is a violation of the law.
“Taking cognizant of the facts that this case is a murder case which has gained the attention of the entire Liberian populist, one will expect that you will commence during the regular term of Court so as to avoid wasting the precious time of this Honorable Court.”
In resisting to the submission, defense counsels argued that the failure of prosecution to try the defendant during two succeeding court terms is a violation of the defendant’s right.
“The submission is an admission by the prosecution that they have failed miserably to begin the prosecution of this matter within the terms succeeding the indictment of the defendant.”
Defense lawyers continue: “The defendant was arrested and incarcerated and charged with the crime of murder, and indicted in April of 2019. while behind bars, by reasoning of the law, his trial should have started next succeeding term which was May of 2019. The prosecution failed to do so in violation of his constitutional rights.”
The defense counsels also argued that the indictment against their client be dismissed as provided for in Section 18.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law.
“The August Term of Court, according to prosecution, has come and gone, meaning, in violation of the defendant’s right to speedy trial two terms of court has now elapsed and the prosecution has spread these blatant violations on the minutes of court.”
Counsels, therefore invoke Section 18.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law and pray court in keeping with their own submission dismiss the indictment and restore the defendant constitutional rights and return any bond that he has filed.”