Liberia: LIROI Calls for Investigation of Prosecutors in ANC’s Cummings Trial￼
MONROVIA — The Liberian Renaissance Office Incorporated (LIROI) has said it has been drawn to media reports which independently confirmed the unethical and diabolical suppression of evidence by State Prosecutors, led by Solicitor General, Cllr. Seymah Syrennius Cephas, in the ongoing trial of the Standard Bearer and other leaders of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), on charges of “forgery and criminal conspiracy”.
The organization through its Country Director George Wisner said State Prosecutors have been caught engaged in “prosecutorial misconduct” in the illegal and unethical extraction of evidence known to undermine their charges and exonerate the accused persons.
This, Wisner said, runs counter to the underlying purpose of criminal prosecution, abuses the integrity of the judicial system, and risks plunging Liberia’s struggling democracy into increased uncertainty and chaos.
Wisner said since its publication of March 21st, 2022, the FrontPageAfrica newspaper revealed its independent confirmation of evidence-tampering by Cllr. Cephas and team, in the omission conversations, and in some cases, entire chain of conversation, which clearly and convincingly proves the innocence of the accused, at discovery, and including on the direct examination of its lead complainant and first witness.
“The criminally-extracted conversations had the additional weight of impeaching the prosecution’s witness and effectively revealing the falsehood of the charges while undermining the entire basis of the trial, which was that the ANC acted “surreptitiously”, and without the knowledge and consent of its partners, in the registration of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).”
The FrontPageAfrica’s independent confirmation, Wisner added, followed similar formal complaint of prosecutorial misconduct filed before Stipendiary Magistrate Jomah Jallah by the Defense Lawyers on March 18, 2022, in which State Prosecutors were accused of extracting several pieces of evidence from the WhatsAPP Chatroom of the National Advisory Council (NAC) of the CPP.
“The Defense Lawyers complained that the maliciously-extracted conversations and messages by the Prosecution are crucial in establishing the innocence of, and exonerating the accused,” he said.
The organization said it views the allegations and subsequent independent confirmation as gravely troubling, and it suppresses evidence only to falsely impress guilt and thereby undermine the credibility of as well as exclude a political opponent from participation in the upcoming Presidential and General Elections in 2023, is undemocratic and anti-democratic.
The organization further said it abuses the role of the Judiciary, weaponizes the courts against foremost opponents of the Weah-administration, and further amplifies growing public perception that the case against Mr. Cummings’ and Co-defendants, all officials of the CPP, is a political conspiracy intended to persecute, weaken and ultimately exclude Mr. Cummings and his ANC from the 2023 elections.
The Presiding Magistrate of the Monrovia City Court, Wisner claimed, has promised an open-ended investigation, but however said such is the gravity of the claims on public interests, and the resultant consequences for our fledgling democracy that LIROI calls for a speedy, independent and transparent investigation to include the National Bar Association, the Inter-religious Council, and the Press Union of Liberia. We urge that the findings be made public.
“Where it is determined that the government prosecution is engaged in the criminal extraction of evidence and and the unethical suppression of pieces of evidence determined to be of exculpatory value to the defendants, it shall be our duty to call for and support the ending of the witch-hunt in order to preserve the integrity of our courts and blood, sweat and tears that ushered in our young democracy. We have a sworn citizenship duty to do so.”
LIROI assures Liberians people that it will remain vigilant and will continue to flag and resist any undemocratic schemes and tendencies to subvert the democratic process and undermine the tranquility of the State, Wisner said.
“In furtherance of this solemn citizenship duty, we intend to put the Government of Liberia and the Court on public notice by alerting our international development and sub-regional partners, through official channels, to ensure that these allegations are speedily investigated and punitive actions taken to serve as deterrence.”
“Liberians will preserve our hard-won and cherished democracy. We are not going back!”