-Defense Lawyer Cllr. Arthur Johnson Declares
One of the leading lawyers defending the interest of embattled Associate Justice Kabinneh Ja’neh says both the lawyers of the House of Representatives and their witnesses are yet to give a legally reasonable instance that warrants the impeachment of his client.
“And we consistently maintain that they have not proved anything, this is just a waste of the Liberian people’s time and a witch-hunt,” he said.
Speaking at the close of the cross-examination of the prosecution’s two witnesses, Cllr. Johnson in a seeming legal lecture with Legislative reporters over the weekend clarified that the lawyers of the House of Representatives, are misleading the public that Associate Justice Ja’neh was given his due process before the commencement of the current impeachment hearing.
“The due process is the law that questions, asks, gives notice and allows a person to get the opportunity to defend himself and file other peremptory challenges against the action that is being proceeded against him,” Cllr Johnson asserted.
On the charge against Justice Ja’neh that he was wrong in issuing a prohibition against the House of Representatives regarding the Road Fund, Cllr Johnson wondered how could the prosecution witness, Rep. Kanie Wesso, stated that, “Justice Ja’neh may have acted on the basis of probability, he may have acted wrongly.
“How will one say that a lawyer would be thinking that there is probability to believe he may have acted wrongly; the Justice in Chambers exercise his discretionary authority to issue a writ based on a petition that was filed by Aminata & Sons, by Srimex that indeed the issue of the Road Fund violates their rights, and so there is a need to prohibit the action,” Johnson wondered.
Cllr Johnson intimated that the Justice in Chambers acted within the province of his discretionary authority as a Justice in Chambers; “so you cannot say that is an abuse of discretion.”
Regarding the charge of theft of property, Cllr. Johnson explained that theft of property is not an impeachable offense. “The law says infamous crime of a person must first be convicted in the court of competent jurisdiction before you can proceed for impeachment, so conviction is the condition precedent for impeachment of a criminal offense; so this is very unfortunate and this is why they have been misleading the House of Representatives in all of this dilemma and this why they are proceeding the way they are proceeding.”
Cllr. Johnson further clarified on what he termed as a contradiction on the age of Constance Jr, whom the witnesses claimed was four years old, and received a letter of administration when he sold the property to Justice Ja’neh.
“It is not true, the man was 40 years of age, the document before the Chief Justice is called decree of sale and court decree of legitimization; Constance Jr was legitimized at the age of four which is consistent with our law, and when he was 40 years old was the time he got decree of sale when he sold the property to Justice Ja’neh, that is the law.”Johnson observed what he described as “disgusting thing ” in the trial as all the witnesses have engaged in tactics of leaving the questions and talking something that is not related.”
Cllr Johnson maintained that under the expo facto law, “you cannot have the process of impeaching somebody when there is no law set up to impeach that person after you have come up with the impeachment before you set the rule, it’s a violation of the expo facto law, and in violation of Article 43 of the Constitution; so this is what is obtaining and we consistently maintain that they have not proved anything, these are not impeachable offenses, this is just a waste of the Liberian people’s time and a witch-hunt.”