‘Don’t Kill Senator Dillon’s Brother Without Giving Him Due Processes’

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Cllr. Augustine Toe, former commissioner Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission

-Cllr. Augustine Toe, former LACC commissioner, cautions government’s lawyers

Minutes after government’s lawyers (prosecution) that are pressing to convict Oliver Dillon asked the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Margibi County to postpone the case, Dillon’s lawyer, Cllr. Augustine Toe, who is a former commissioner of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), is arguing that the request is a complete violation of the fundamental rights of his client and meant to keep him silent. Defendant Dillon is currently in jail.

“If you want to kill Oliver Dillon because of his brother, you should first allow him to go through a due process,” Cllr. Toe said openly, during an argument as to whether the prosecution‘s request should be granted by Judge Mardea Tatt-Chenoweth or not.

Defendant Oliver Papee Dillon

Oliver Dillon, who is the coordinator of Decentralization at the Ministry of Transport (MoT), was charged with murder by the Liberia National Police (LNP) after he allegedly stabbed to death Emmanuel Kofa on April 12, 2019  in the Gardnersville Supermarket Community. Since then he had been detained by the  government despite efforts by his lawyer and Judge Roosevelt Willie to release him on bail to wait his trial, but that has so far not materialized.

Oliver had admitted to commission of killing his victim Kofa in self defense because, according to him, Kofa and a group of his followers attacked him in the area.  He alleged that Kofa and two other guys had tried to rob him around 12:00 a.m. and that the area in which he allegedly stabbed Kofa is considered a criminal area where he has been robbed before.

During Friday’s argument, which Judge Chenoweth denied the state lawyers’ request for postponement, Cllr. Toe argued that the prosecution has no case against defendant Dillon, but they are interested in keeping him in jail, which he believes is a violation of the law.

Cllr. Toe further argued that the prosecution’s application for postponement is in bad faith and is not supported by any law, but only meant to keep the defendant in prison; stressing, “Your Honor, do not allow yourself to be used by the government’s lawyers to violate the action that is not backed by logic and the law.”

Before Cllr. Toe’s accusation, Margibi County Attorney, Deddeh Wilson, argued that their request for postponement is because all of the lawyers at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) were engaged and, as such, she alone could not proceed with the matter, even though she (Cllr. Wilson) personally handled cases as county attorney.

Besides, Cllr. Wilson argued that all of their material witnesses that are to testify in the matter were not in the country and they have to look for them before they can commence the trial, though, the Supreme Court has mandated Judge Chenoweth to speedily decide the case.

In swift a reaction, Judge Chenoweth wondered whether or not Wilson was interested in defendant Dillon’s continued detention until her witnesses, whom she claimed were outside of the country could return. In response, Cllr. Wilson blamed the bureaucracy at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), wherein any high-profile cases should first be handled by lawyers from Montserrado County alone, an argument that Judge Chenoweth did not accept.

“What does that have to do with this court handling this case?” Chenoweth asked in response.

On Cllr. Wilson’s contention that all of the MoJ’s lawyers were engaged, Chenoweth said, “It is worrisome for Cllr. Wilson to say that all of their lawyers were engaged with different cases throughout the country that she could not go ahead with the trial.

“I wonder, since all of the lawyers at the ministry were engaged, then it means the defendant remains in jail without being tried until the lawyers are less busy?”

Thereafter, the judge replied in the negative that “Because justice delayed is justice denied, the application to postpone further hearing into the matter is denied,” Chenoweth said, reassigning the hearing of the case for March 12.

Before Cllr. Wilson’s contention for postponement that was subsequently rejected by Judge Chenoweth, the case was first handled by Judge Roosevelt Willie of Criminal Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice.

Judge Willie did not have the opportunity to continue with the case because he was asked by the very prosecution to recuse himself from the trial on ground that he had granted defendant Dillon bail.

Afterward, Judge Willie accepted that request and later turned the case over to Judge Ceaineh Clinton Johnson of Criminal Court ‘B’ also at the Temple of Justice.

Surprisingly, when the matter reached Judge Johnson, the prosecution again asked the judge for a change of venue, this time at the 5th Judicial Circuit Court in Grand Cape Mount County.

According to the indictment, Dillon who usually parks his car on the premises of Jetty Trading Company in Gardnersville was attacked along with his fiancée by robbers on two separate occasions. On the night of the alleged murder, Dillon apparently realized he had forgotten his reading glasses and mobile phone in his parked car. He then left for the area he parked his car to retrieve the items, taking a knife for his safety.

The indictment further states that there were three men near the parking area, including the victim. One of those men was also carrying a pair of scissors with him.  Observing the men to have some evil intent, Oliver Dillon took his knife and stabbed Kofa during a scuffle.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Augustine Toe, just shut up your corrupt mouth! That you would stoop so low to politicize the stabbing to death of another human being, simply because you are respresenting the one who stabbed to death another human being, evidences how monsterous, heartless, beastly, unethical, and unprofessional you are!

    But know this that: neither requesting the postponement of a case, asking for more time to continue litigation, or requesting a change of venue, is in anyway a denial of due process, nor an intent for the presumed innocent to be punished in accordance with whichever punishmnet is prescribed By law! And you know it!!

    That you Augustine Toe have already judged or adjudicated the accused or the suspect guilty PRIOR TO THE DECISION OR VERDICT OF THE JUDGE AND COURT, actually proves you are a mere “charge and bill lawyer” representing the accused unethically, unprofessionally and in bad faith!

    • Mr. Siboe Doe, the law calls for a speedy trial which the accused is entitled to as his due process under the law, and not prolonged detention which is against the law . The delayed tactics being played by the prosecutor is to see if the judge will go along with his political tricks. The law of speedy trial is a law for every Liberian, and not for some Liberians. That is the problem that one finds in this regime. That there are many lawyers as displaced professionals serving in and on most institutional positions or committees as technocrats, and not in their of professions. As a result, many of the regime’s institutional positions or committees are politicized. And missing are the technocrats that have less time for politics, but more so about getting things done the right way and on time. Political politics have consumed the fabric of the regime. Enough about political politics in every thing as retaliation . This case is overdue and needs to be heard.

    • It’s very sad to hear this from a person who was not even present when the incident took place. I am a living witness. If it was me, I would have defended myself too. You guys don’t know what happens to us over there every night. The government is indeed not doing justice to Oliver Dillon. I am a victim of attack to the same place. So please shut up if you don’t know the actual story

      • Are “these people” really serious that because a killer is the brother of an incumbent opposition senator, or the victim is a resident of an area or vicinity where crimes are frequently committed, such principles of criminal law and criminal justice as DETERRENCE, INCAPACITATION, JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIM, FAIRNESS, PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION,, or ensuring that the entire adjudicatory process and or setting, or punishment, must not in any case be less than that which is sufficient to OUTWEIGH, IN THE OFFENDER’S MIND, the profit of committing the offense.

        And what is extremely hypocritical here is the fact that this very so called lawyer Gus Toe who saw nothing wrong with Hanks William’s and his wife Mardea languishing in jail longer than what Oliver Dillon has spent in jail amid the lack of sufficient evidence against the couple, this very Gus Toe and his client expect the prosecution to rush with the case , trampling on all principles of criminal law and criminal justice because according to them, Oliver Dillon whose version of the case proves him to have had an intent to kill unreasonably is the brother of some senator.

        Hanks and Mardea stayed in jail for years before been sentenced , and then went to jail again for a total of six years until a Supreme court ruling acquitted them for lack of sufficient evidence. Whether senator brother or not, such principles of criminal law and criminal justice as deterrence etc., and justice for the victim, etc. etc. must be upheld.

    • Da so so political trouble and revenge y’all doing all these things for. But let see who will carry the day. Somebody want kill me for free, I should fold my hands and let him carry out his ‘dirty’ deeds! Y’all alright.

    • U lacks objectivity in this your reckless comment, you reffer to Cllr Toe as a corrupt man, you should be mad.

  2. In Liberia, we need to stop politicizing everything. This is a very delicate matter that borders on someone’s life being taken away arbitrarily and disproportionally. Counselor Toe needs to stop making political arguments and focus more on building a decent legal argument in favor of his client. These political arguments have the proclivity to undermine effective access to justice and cast doubt on the overall trial of the case.

  3. This Augustine Toe guy is a jungle-minded lawyer to make such an illegitimate and unjust premise that ” once an accused killer has a sibbling or relative in the opposition, such an accused killer or prime suspect should be given a special treatment alien to what is prescribed By law.

    According to Augustine Toe, once a homicide case involves the Brother or another close relative a so called opposition who ganged up with others but failed in their treasnous act to remove By force an incumbent democratically elected government (masked be hind the ploy and pretext of protest), the rules or the laws must be silent or quashed; because the culprit is a Brother of a plotter to overthrow government; even when it has become convincingly proven that the confessed killer intentionally violated the laws and rules of self defense which provides that “the response must match the level of the threat in question”.

    Augustine Toe, if your premise were anything to go By, then the principles of law, and the rules of criminal justice would hardly be upheld, since nearly everybody in one way or the other may commit crimes, and in most cases, have close relatives and even very close sibblings in the opposition! This idea of yours that homicide culprits who have opposition legislators as brothers or sisters must enjoy immunity and impunity smells in the heavens and even in hell!

  4. The accused killed before his brother became Senator, which makes Counselor Toe’s baseless incitement of political passion a cowardly and unlawyerly act.

    • Added to Toe’s ”cowardly and unlawyerly act” is the exposure of his incompetence as a seasoned or smart lawyer. What I have noticed about Augustine Toe in this case is that he is generally not a skilled craftman not to talk of being a creative problem solver …the hallmark of a lawyer!

      As a result of this handicap, Augustine Toe, having found it very difficult or impossible to establish an intelligent, persuasive, and convincing, THEORY of his own case before him, he wants to rely on politicizing the case to gain public sympathy!

      We saw this in the case of the Janeh’s impeachment and removal case, when the current President of the LNBA Tiawen Gongloe, Yuoh, Banks, and Jamesetta Wolokolie displayed such tendencies in their failed attempt to twist the law and make a mockery of justice.

      So, it is not surprising that Augustine Toe is attempting to conceal his total lack of the skills of a lawyer, by furtively trying to impugn the prosecutors on behalf of his vicious murderer client deserving the full course and weight of the law, for justice is blind!

    • You guys are all here speaking only because he is a brother of Dillon and you hate AB Dillon. I wish you were living supermarket. I will be ready to testify on his behalf when I’m call. I am a living witness to that incident that happened that time.

  5. Attny Toe, arguement to set this guy free haven’t admitted to murder …I think is baseless. He has a lot of work to do besides seeking bond. and that’s to vindicate your client in line of SELF DEFENSE.

    Why must he be released if he actually acted on SELF DEFENSE? Demand a smooth and speedy process to adjudicate your case. But with the call for a BOND to allow the DEFENDANT out before trial is not wrong but signals wrong.

    Generally…Liberia doesn’t have good records of people freed on bond. They travel and escape.

    So if Attny Toe does believe in his client’s Defense…proceed with the facts and avoid bonds. Good to try but great to stick to the facts.

  6. Politics is gradually killing our democracy and the rule of law. I was attack last week by criminals but manage go runaway. If I had have knife, I would have defended myself. Self defence is Paramount go keeping ones life.

    • “Alvin Zoeluma Sherman”, Ahmed Jalloh, etc., If you had a knife, you would have defended yourself” By stabbing the victim several times to death “to scare him away” as is the case with killer Jonathan Williams and killer Oliver Dillon who “tried to scare their respective victims away” By stabbing their victims several times to death, because “Self defence is Paramount to keeping ones life”????????

      Well, “Alvin Zoeluma Sherman” such idea about “scaring one away” By stabbing them several times to death IS PROHIBITED By two legal doctrines – the last clear chance doctrine, and the reasonable doctrine of the rule and law of self defense.

      The last clear chance doctrine says that the one basing his action on self defense MUST avoid the POSSIBILITY of an attack by using ordinary and reasonable care! Dillon aware of possible attack should have avoided the possibility of such an attack, since getting a common laptop ( that time of the night in a community he says is a “bad community”)is in no way a life saving need!

      The common law defence of self-defence applies where the defendant uses necessary, reasonable and proportionate force to defend themselves or another from imminent attack.

      So, henceforth, always bear in mind that “scaring away” attackers is subject to the legal and moral dictates and standards of REASONABILITY. NECESSITY, PROPORTIONALITY, AND ENSURING THE AVOIDANCE OF AN ATTACK as spelled out in the LAST CLEAR DOCTRINE, AND THE LAW OF SELF DEFENSE!

  7. If the prosecutor feels that Oliver did not act in self defense but rather did actually meant to kill than let them bring the case to trial. Both prosecutors and defense counsel will battle it out. Why do they want to prolong the case if they are sure of the facts.

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