Global Witness Case: Court Requests Task Force To Produce Evidence in 10 Days

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Monrovia – The Global Witness alleged bribe scandal case is taking another twist as Criminal Court “C” Thursday instructed the prosecution to provide all pieces of evidence in their possession to the Court within the 10 days.


Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo/ [email protected]


 “Wherefore in view of foregoing, the movant’s motion is granted in part and the prosecuting Attorneys are hereby instructed to disclose all species of evidence in their possession in the interest or against the movant herein, Alex Tyler, and all other defendants similarly situated in this case within 10 days effective as of 16th day of December A.D 2016, with the exception of the bank accounts which are still being contested; failure of which this court may view it as sufficient ground to dismiss the charges levied against the defendant/ movant J. Alex Tyler.” – Presiding Judge Yarmie Gbeisay, Criminal Court “C”

The court’s instruction follows a “Disclosure and Access to Evidence” motion from former Speaker, J. Alex Tyler. The motion requests the court to order the prosecution to make available all evidence, gathered against him in accordance with the law.

Such, according to Tyler, would help him adequately prepare his defense against the allegation.

Presiding Judge of Criminal Court “C”, Yarmie Gbeisay, who ruled in Tyler’s favor said, the fundamental principle of law in Liberia and in all common law nations is ‘notice’, noting that “notice must be adequate, especially so when one is accused of a felonious crime, as in the instant case, so as to enable the accused to enter not only an informed and an intelligent plea, but to also timely prepare to defend himself of the charge(s) against him.”

According to Judge Yarmie, the courts was of the opinion that the issue of whether or not the movant (Tyler) was entitled to disclosure of evidence against would be used against him and are supposedly in the possession of the state.

Judge Gbeisay granted the motion in part – instructing the prosecuting attorneys to disclose all species of evidence in their possession in the interest or against Tyler and all other defendants similarly situated in the case within 10 days as the effective date of December 16, 2016.

Judge Gbeisay warned the prosecution that failure on their part to submit the evidence within the stipulated time frame would leave the court with no alternative but to dismiss the indictment against Tyler.

Exemption was, however, placed on bank statements, which co-defendant Varney Sherman petitioned the Supreme Court to put a stay order on the subpoena by the lower court requesting those documents from the banks.

The Supreme Court is yet to give its opinion on the matter. 

“Wherefore in view of foregoing, the movant’s motion is granted in part and the prosecuting Attorneys are hereby instructed to disclose all species of evidence in their possession in the interest or against the movant herein, Alex Tyler, and all other defendants similarly situated in this case within 10 days effective as of 16th day of December A.D 2016, with the exception of the bank accounts which are still being contested; failure of which this court may view it as sufficient ground to dismiss the charges levied against the defendant/ movant J. Alex Tyler.”

Tyler and former ruling Unity Party Chairman H. Varney G. Sherman, Ernest .C.B. Jones, Chris Onanuga and U.K.-based Sable Mining and its officials are jointly facing charges for economic crimes. Their alleged action of soliciting and receiving bribes were revealed in Global Witness 2015 report on Liberia.

Tyler’s motion, a copy of which is in the possession of FrontPageAfrica noted that section 17.2 of the criminal procedure law captioned ‘Pretrial Examination of Books and Records’ provides that “the court on motion, may direct that the books, papers, document or other things designated in an order be produced at a time prior to the trial or prior to the time when they are to be offered in evidence and may upon their production, permit such books, papers, documents, or other things or portion or part thereof to examine and copies thereof to be made by the parties and their attorney”.

The motion further averred: “That the Special Presidential Task Force which was set up by the President of the Republic of Liberia to prosecute and is prosecuting the captioned case, out of which this motion grows, had a press conference in July of 2016, during which time it informed the nation and the world at large, that the said special taskforce has in its possession sufficient evidence to prosecute the movant herein and other defendant mentioned herein.”

Tyler said that the motion was made in good faith and not intended to delay or baffle justice.

In response to the motion, the state said it has no objection to providing the evidence against all of the defendants who together are to be tried jointly.

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