Temple Of Jusatice
Prosecution Wants Speedy Trial In NDS US$4m Case
By Comfort Johnson
MONROVIA, September 3 (LINA) - State prosecutors have filed a motion at the Criminal Court “C” for speedy trial in its August Term of the criminal case against a former Finance Officer of the National Drug Service (NDS) who allegedly mismanaged US$4 million of the entity’s funds.
In the motion filed on August 29, prosecution lawyer Daku Mulbah argued that ex-finance officer Wesley Jleu “willfully and intentionally” converted the amount entrusted to him to his personal use.
According to the Liberia News Agency, Cllr. Mulbah requested the court to grant the motion for the case to be advanced on the docket against the backdrop that the organic law of the Republic of Liberia is clear on criminal offenses.
“The law dictates that when a person is accused of a criminal offense they should have a speedy trial... and we are requesting the court to take judicial notice of the law and this motion,” he added.
“We are in the time of Ebola crisis in the country where we need other partners to come and help Liberia in the process not when funds are given then certain people resort to eating all the money alone,” Mulbah continued.
In his counter-argument, Defense Counsel Scheaplor Dunbar took notice of the motion, but added that the defendant had not been brought under the jurisdiction of the court.
He argued that it is only a criminal defendant and the prosecution that can move the court to advance a criminal case on the trial docket in the very term in which the indictment was drawn against the defendant.
Dunbar said the rationale of this was that a defendant needs a reasonable time to prepare his defense, adding that to rush a criminal defendant to trial in the very term in which he was indicted denies him of his constitutional right.
He said the motion was filed “in bad faith without any regard for rights reserved to the defendant in any criminal action,” and asked the court to deny the motion when the defendant is brought under the court’s jurisdiction and put the case on the docket for the November term.
Meanwhile, the Presiding Judge Yusuf Kaba has said that the court shall proceed to enter its determination on the motion on Thursday, September 4, and asked that all parties be present.