Liberia: Police Threatens Former Chief Justice Gloria Scott with Legal Action


— A source close to Cllr. Scott told the Daily Observer that the police are up to something sinister as they are doing everything to turn public sentiment against the former Chief Justice.

The Liberia National Police has threatened Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, a former Chief Justice of Liberia, with legal action if she fails to show up for questioning today.

The police, which has been under immense pressure from members of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change to have Scott questioned, has now issued an official invitation to the former Chief Justice along with occupants for a closed-door interrogation.

The police believe Scott and members of her household may have knowledge that would help them identify the unknown assassin(s) who attacked the former justice's home on February 23, forcing her to flee, while her niece's body lies in cold blood with multiple knife wounds.

“The Police invites former Chief Justice, Gloria Musu Scott, Gertrude Newton, Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, and Alice Johnson for further questioning in connection to the alleged armed robbery incident at her home,” said a statement signed by police spokesman H. Moses Carter. 

But the statement took a hostile time when it declared that “failure on their part to honor the invitation (today), the LNP will be left with no option but to take appropriate legal actions through the court of law.”

The police request for Scott and her household to be questioned is not the first.  She was immediately questioned after the incident and has since been cooperating with the police investigation. 

The police yesterday questioned her at her 16th Street residence — spending over four hours with her and the other occupants of the house. On Friday, February 24, she and others also spent more than three hours under questioning — a total of seven hours altogether. 

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In spite of the long hours of interrogation already consumed, the police appear to be driving a narrative that Scott and her household are not cooperative with the police investigation into the incident that led to the death of one person and others injured.

This was a narrative told by the Inspector General of Police, Col. Patrick Sudue, on Feb.28 at Senate, saying Scott had refused to provide a statement to the police since the incident occurred.

However, his assertion ran contrary to an earlier press release issued by the Police, which indicated that the former Chief Justice had talked to police investigators during the preliminary investigation.

This comes after the police had questioned the all-powerful  Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee, who is the Secretary General of the Congress for Democratic Change, a constituent party in the current ruling party, on March 1. 

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Koijee was named as a person of interest in the Scott attacker (s) case after being accused of having hired Varlee Tarlleh, an ex-rebel general who works as a security guard for the Monrovia City Police Department, to assassinate the former Chief Justice.

The Mayor has however denied any involvement in the failed assassination attempt on the life of former Chief Justice,  saying “he is innocent and a victim of propaganda.”

“What is being said about me being the mastermind in the attack on the life of Scott is false and misleading,” Koijee said on March 1. “I waive all rights of a mayor and I’m willing to face police investigation and court proceedings.”

But it was former cherman of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Cllr. Jerome Verdier, who alleged that the attack on Scott's home was masterminded by the mayor and executed by one of his trusted confidantes, Telleh—a former commander of the defunct ULIMO-K rebel faction.

Verdier has not provided any evidence to support his claims. It comes as Koijee has been constantly accused of human rights violations in the past, even though there has been no evidence yet to link him to the crime.

Telleh, however, denied the accusation against him. He noted that he has been away from Brewerville, the community in which Scott has lived for a long time.  

Telleh is a former rebel who fought along ULIMO-K, a faction controlled in the 1990s by the late Professor Alhaji G.V. Kromah. It is also reported that Telleh also fought with the LURD rebel faction that compelled former President Taylor to resign and depart into exile in Nigeria.

The home of the former justice first came under attack on the night of February 8, with a repeat of the same incident happening the following night.  The third attack which took place a week later, on February 22, resulted in the niece of Scott being killed by the alleged attacker(s) who had already succeeded in breaching the steel door to the house's living quarters and forcing the former Chief Justice to run for her life.

Meanwhile, a source close to the former Chief Justice has told the Daily Observer that the police are lying that she is being uncooperative when she and others in her household have already undergone at least seven hours of police questioning already.

“The narrative that she is being uncooperative with the police investigation is false,” the source said. “How can police threaten to use the ‘full weight of the law’ against a grieving mother and the victim of an assassination attempt, for alleged refusal to cooperate?”

“These people are up to something sinister. They are doing everything to put public sentiment against Justice Scott so they can succeed in undermining the entire investigation by spreading disinformation and misinformation about the whole incident.”

The March 2 questioning, according to the source, can be attested to by another former Chief Justice, Frances Johnson Allison, and former Assistant Minister of Justice, Cllr. Augustine Fayiah, was present when the police investigators arrived.  

Even Cllr. Dempster Brown, Chairman of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights also met the investigators there.