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Korkoya Vs Stewart, Others Libel Case Postponed
Date Uploaded: May 02, 2017

Temple Of Justice

 

Korkoya Vs Stewart, Others Libel Case Postponed

By Ballah M. Kollie

MONROVIA, May 1 (LINA) – The Judge of the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has granted a motion for continuance filed by prosecuting lawyers on grounds that their client, Plaintiff Jerome G. Korkoya, who is also the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), has traveled out of the country.

Judge Yussif Kaba’s approval of Cllr. Cooper Kruah’s appeal for postponement followed a brief argument by both defense and prosecuting counsels.

It can be recalled that following the publication of the Wednesday, July 6, 2016 article written by John H. Stewart titled “Assessing Presidential Candidate Joseph Nyuma Boakai’s chances in 2017," Chairman Korkoya filed a lawsuit for US$200, 000 for general damages and US$75,000 for punitive damages.

When the case was called on Monday by Judge Kaba, Cllr. Kruah, who represents the NEC Chairman, called for postponement of the case to a date he was not specific about, to which the defense team led by human rights lawyer Tiawon Gongloe, protested.

According to Cllr. Gongloe, the absence of Korkoya was not a ground to postpone of the case, especially so when Korkoya is not the only witness in the case, and asked the court to put on the stand the other witnesses while the plaintiff is away.

He then sought denial and subsequent dismissal of the submission, terming it as vague, indistinct and not supported by law.

But the court granted the prosecution’s motion for continuance to a date that was not mentioned.

In Count One of his written legal direction, Korkoya said the action for damages is based upon a calculated act of character assassination committed by Stewart, and the Analyst and New Democrat newspapers that published the article that describes him as a “very corrupt person.”

The article also indicated that “During the last senatorial by-election the National Elections Commission (NEC) was awash with rumors that one of the candidates had presented him (Korkoya) with a new Ford SUV which he had accepted.”

“More to that he was accused of fixing the results in several counties, including Bong, and was reportedly seen in Gbarnga with Senator Jewel Howard Taylor on the day of the polls,” Stewart alleged in the article.

With the case being postponed, it is not clear when John Stewart, a former Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and other co-defendants will appear in court.

LINA BMK/TSS/PTK

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