MONROVIA – The Supreme Court of Liberia has sentenced seven traditional leaders in Bong County to six months imprisonment at a common jail in connection with the capturing of a Judge and others by the ‘country devil’.
Those sentenced are Daniel Tubman, Clinton Brown, Robert Sulu, Miller Bondo, Varfee Sirleaf, Ernest White, and Joseph Kollie
On August 10, the traditional leaders allegedly carried out a raid by unleashing Traditional Buah Master (Country Devil), due to a land dispute.
The Commissioner and City Mayor of Salala were among the five people arrested and would remained in Monrovia until those captured by the country devil are released.
“The Supreme Court has the inherent authority to punish for contempt acts interfering with the independence and integrity of the courts, and the inherent constitutional duty to protect the sanctity and dignity of the Judiciary, especially the courts and its officers,” the Court stated.
According to the Supreme Court, contempt proceedings by the court are independent and exclusive of any criminal or other investigation conducted by the other branches of government or other institutions.
“As in the instant case, the Supreme Court shall not refuse jurisdiction nor fail to take cognizance of contempt merely because the same acts and conduct for which the contempt proceedings have been instituted are being simultaneously investigated by other institutions,” the high court noted.
The Supreme Court further stated that it had been established that the contemners deliberately ransacked the magisterial court in Salala, Gbartala, and Bong Mines, Bong County, and abducted the Magistrate and others in Salala, which acts violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers and the immunity granted judicial officers in the performance of their duties, “ the contemners are guilty of the crime of the Judiciary branch of Government.