The Judiciary Law Title 17, Liberia Code of Laws, Revised and Approved May 10, 1972, subsequently published on June 20, 1972, conferred on the Chief Justice the authority to assign and rotate judges to Circuit courts throughout the country.
It states: “Each Circuit Judge, except the judges commissioned as relieving judges, shall preside as resident judge over the Circuit Court of the circuit for which he was appointed.”
The law continues: “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall assign, on a rotating system, a Circuit Judge to each quarterly session of the various circuits and if all business before a Circuit Court is disposed of before the expiration of a quarterly session, the Chief Justice shall have the power to reassign the Circuit Judge assigned thereto to sit for the balance of the quarterly session in any other circuit in addition to the Circuit Judge currently assigned there, if he deems such reassignment will aid the prompt disposition of judicial business.”
However, the recent reassignment of Judge Blamo Dixon to the Criminal Court ‘C’ in Montserrado County for the February 2021 Term has been greeted with strong reservations in the vicinity of the Czech Republic.
This is because two Czech Republic investors, Martins and Pavel Miloschewsky, who had complained Judge Dixon for allegedly communicating with some of the defendants to include Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh, to Chief Justice Korkpor in the US$5 million economic sabotage and theft of property case, will have to wait for the next court term in March 2021.
It stems from Judge Dixon’s November 20, 2020 judgment, where he recused himself from hearing the matter further after the prosecution raised the issue in open court, and thereby requested Dixon to do so (recuse himself).
Importantly, Justice Korkpor, on November 10, 2020, wrote the Chairperson of the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC), Associate Justice Yussif Kaba, to conduct an investigation into the matter and afterward submit the findings to him (Chief Justice Korkpor), which Investigation is still pending before the Kaba’s commission undecided when Dixon was reassigned to the very court.
The accusation against Singbeh and others dates back to 2017, which Judge Dixon was handling in 2020 when he was asked to recuse himself due to pressure from the prosecution.
In a social media post, the Czech brothers claimed that Dixon’s reassignment denied them receiving due process.
“We are shocked and disappointed over the Liberian Judiciary for that action,” the investors said, claiming that since 2017, they have invested thousands of United States dollars to obtain lawyers to plead the case in their absence.
According to the investors, with the prevailing situation, they are going to file an official complaint to the international community on the matter.
A communication from the Ministry of Justice in possession of the Daily Observer backed that statement.
The MoJ letter dated December 21, 2020, accuses Judge Dixon of communicating with some of the principal defendants that include Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh in a US$5 million economic sabotage and theft of property case that is pending before the court.
The letter was received by the office of the Chief Justice on December 24, 2020.
The government lawyers further claimed, “We have evidence like call logs to establish that there were communication exchanges between Judge Dixon and Singbeh.”
Therefore, the letter recommended, “In this light, we humbly request Your Honor to assign a new Judge to preside over the case.”