A request seeking the separation of former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Milton Weeks’ trial from that of four of his co-defendants, including former Deputy Governor Charles Sirleaf, has been accepted by Criminal Court ‘C’ that is currently handling the matter.
The request for separation was filed before Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay by the lawyers representing the legal interest of Charles Sirleaf, Director for Banking, Dorbor Hagba, Director of Finance, Richard H. Walker and Director of Internal Audit, Joseph Dennis.
Excluding Weeks from the other defendants, Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay openly said that Weeks’ matter is still pending before the Supreme Court without any mandate being sent down to his court, stressing that ”whatever citation that was served on him was an error by this court so ordered.
It resulted shortly after the Supreme Court mandated Judge Gbeisay to resume jurisdiction of the matter, which order removes Weeks from the list of individuals to be tried by the judge.
The Supreme Court’s decision necessitated when both the state prosecutors and the defense lawyers that include Weeks’ legal team separately filed a complaint before Chamber Justice Yussif Kaba, asking him (Justice Kaba) to review the action of the then Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge Blamo Dixon to step-down from the matter after he had begun hearing it.
By then, when he announced his challenged recusal, Judge Dixon said, “I am constrained to recuse myself from the entire case for reasons best known to myself and without prejudice to the State.”
The other parties that include both the government lawyers and those of Sirleaf and others prayed for their complaint to be heard by Justice Kaba, which mandate Kaba sent to Judge Gbeisay to only hear the case that involved Sirleaf and his colleagues, excluding Weeks.
Initially, Weeks together with Sirleaf, Walker, Dennis, and Hagba (accused) were charged in a joint indictment with crimes they are alleged to have committed, including theft of property, economic sabotage, and misuse of public money, criminal conspiracy, criminal facilitation, and illegal disbursement of public money.
They were accused for allegedly printing and infusing billions of local currency into the economy without authorization by the government.
The Indictment alleges that each of the accused is directly responsible for those crimes.
The prosecution alleged that a “criminal syndicate commenced on the 17th of May 2017” at the CBL when a request was made through former President Sirleaf to the Legislature for the printing of L$5 billion to replace mutilated legacy banknotes.
They further said that additional printing of L$10 billion was done, but it claims there were excesses in all of the two separate printings, of which they are holding the accused to account for their alleged unauthorized actions. The accused have denied all the charges levied by the prosecution.