After being summoned for “arbitrarily” reducing the 2013/2014 budget of the Judiciary, lawyers representing Finance Minister Amara Konneh and other senior staff on Wednesday, April 16, pleaded for an extension of ten days.
They were expected on Wednesday to show cause, if any, why they should not be held in contempt for “arbitrarily reducing the 2013/2014 budget of the Judiciary in total violation of the Judiciary and Financial Autonomy Act.”
When the Finance Ministry’s deputies appeared before the Full Bench, however, Minister Konneh was not present in court, which prompted legal counsel for the Ministry to ask for an additional ten days with the explanation that “some of those summoned by the Supreme Court were conducting government functions outside of the country.”
But the High Court insisted that the Ministry’s officials will be required to comment on their “reported deliberate” refusal to make available 10% of the cost to the implementation of the “New Jury” law.
The Court said the action resulted to the non-application and enforcement of the law.
According to a release issued on April 15, by the Supreme Court, those summoned included Minister Konneh, his deputies and the Acting Comptroller-General of Liberia.
These officials of the Executive Branch were instructed to appear before the Full Bench of the Supreme Court.