Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’ has granted a writ of habeas corpus prayed for in favor of Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott and three others who are expected to be charged with the murder of her niece Charloe Musu.
Scott, who is a former Chief Justice, is accused by the police of ‘murdering’ her niece, whose death was reported as an alleged armed robbery attack.
Scott also stands accused of making false statements to law enforcement officers as well as criminal conspiracy. At the Court, lawyers for the former Chief Justice argued that their client was illegally detained for over four months since February and was being held under what authorities called "constructive detention."
Her lawyers prayed the court to order the state to turn over the living body of their client and the other petitioners.
The state, however, disagreed and argued that Scott was not detained even though she had slept at the police headquarters last night in one of its holding cells.
According to the state, the writ against was premature and should be trashed as it lacks any strong legal standing. However, the judge was unconvinced and granted the writ of habeas corpus, ordering the state to release the four detainees -- a ruling which the state complied with.
"The God of Abraham will speak for her" and "no weapon fashioned against her will ever prosper,” were chanted after Scott and her co-accused were released to their lawyers.
Responding to the Judge's ruling, Cllr. Lafayette Gould said the state is disappointed that the writ was granted when the law clearly says "no one should be held beyond forty-Eight hours which had not been the case with the former the Former Chief Justice."
However, the state has not backed down, even though it is yet to serve Scott and her co-defendants with an arrest warrant having promised to do so earlier today.
Earlier, the Ministry of Information held a press conference and informed the public that Scott's house was not broken into as she claimed. They also added that community dwellers also informed the police that there was absolutely no sign of armed robberies as claimed by all the prime suspects who were arrested yesterday.
According to the LNP, they do have enough evidence to prove all the charges they brought up.
The reported charges against the former Chief Justice are grave with murder being a non-bailable offense. The writ of habeas corpus was then filed as she was held by the police at its headquarters in a detention cell while waiting for formal charges to be announced.
Habeas Corpus is a legal procedure used to determine the lawfulness of imprisonment or detention of an accused. The reported charges come as a surprising turn of events as the police had initially claimed a few hours after the incident on February 22 that the person who murdered Charloe might have been a contracted worker in Scott's compound.
However, the police have now changed the narrative after four months of “exhaustive investigation” — which they believe did not show any trace of Charloe being killed by an outsider.
Scott had told the police in March that “I know for a fact that there was somebody in our sleeping quarters who should not have been there, and this person is the person that killed Charloe Musu.
“She didn't die by herself,” Cllr. Scott continued. “I know that for a fact. When I encountered this person, I engaged their eyes and I put pepper spray in their eyes because it was a question of life and death.”
According to government pathologist, Dr. Benedict Kolee, Charloe died as a result of excessive bleeding, which was caused by multiple stabbings. “She lost so much blood on the inside and outside after a piercing below her left rib, which cut one of the arteries that made blood flow in the chest, leading to the collapse of her left lung,” Kulee said in his autopsy report on the remains of the deceased.
Charloe who was a graduating Senior of Staz University met her untimely death during the night hours of Feb. 22, when “the home of Scott came under an alleged attack.”
That night was the third incident. The previous two, according to Scott, were reported to the police and the Ministry of Justice — with the former admitting in a statement on Feb. 26 that after receiving reports of the first two attacks, they “started patrolling the area."
The police at that time did not specify what it meant by “patrolling the area” and never posted an officer at Scott’s residence.