Liberia: US$150K Allegedly Misappropriated by Prosecutors

 (From left) Montserrado County Attorney Sesay has specifically accused Cllr. Bobby Livingstone, Solicitor General Nyenati Tuan and others of diverting the funds for personal use.

… in Former Chief Justice Scott’s murder trial

Cllr. Swahilo Sesay, Montserrado County Attorney, has accused prosecutors representing the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) of misappropriating US$150,000 that was allocated for the prosecution of the Charloe Musu murder trial.

This accusation has come months following the conviction of former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and several of her family members for the murder of her niece, Charloe Musu. According to Sesay, the funds were released by Comptroller Milton Gaye to former Solicitor General, Counselor Nyanti Tuan, with the intention of using it for transportation, accommodation, and other related expenses if the case were to be transferred outside of Monrovia.

However, as the transfer did not materialize, the lawyers were expected to refund a portion of the money. Sesay has specifically accused Counselors Bobby Livingstone, Adolphus Karmua, Aloysious Allison, and the Solicitor General of diverting the funds for personal use.

Sesay also claimed that the funds were distributed in his presence. “Livingstone, Karmua, Tuan, and the other prosecutors distributed the money right in front of me,” Sesay alleged.

Sesay claims that prior to the distribution of the funds, he was facing a month’s suspension by the Supreme Court.

He further claimed that after the accused prosecutors shared the funds among themselves, he was left to single-handedly fund the expenses associated with the proceedings.

However, the accused prosecutors have strongly denied these allegations, deeming them baseless and untrue. 

Sesay further reveals that he used his own money to transport the pathologist to Cllr. Scott’s homes and to cover the transportation costs of the correction officers involved in the investigation.

“I provided my personal money to transport the Pathologist to visit the homes of Cllr Scott. I also paid for the transportation of the Correction officers who did the presenting investigation,” Sesay alleged. “Let any of them deny that.”

When reached for comment, Cllr. Tuan denied sharing the money with the other prosecutors, asserting that, “the funds were used for the intended purposes.” 

Karmua also denied any involvement in the alleged misappropriation, stating he had not received any money and redirecting journalists to Comptroller Gaye for further information.

Gaye, however, declined to comment on the matter. Livingstone also disclaimed any responsibility for the management of the funds, emphasizing his role in financial matters related to murder cases.

He dismissed Sesay’s claims, stating that he lacked knowledge regarding the workings of the Ministry of Justice and prosecutors’ funds. He believes Sesay’s allegations to be baseless and without merit.

Similarly, Counselor Allison denied any major involvement in the murder trial, explaining that he was not actively participating as one of the lead lawyers for Criminal Court ‘A’.

These accusations and counter-accusations raise concerns about the usage of prosecution funds in high-profile cases and the need for transparency and accountability within the justice system. The allegations will undoubtedly require further investigation and verification to unveil the truth behind the alleged misuse of funds.