Ministry of Justice Faces Court Contempt Charge

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    The Civil Law Court on Friday, June 20, threatened to bring a contempt charge against senior staff members of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), if they insist on not to turn over three vehicles to the court by today, Monday, June 23.

    The court decided to engage the prosecuting arm of government, the MOJ, after the Ministry of Finance, which had originally confiscated said vehicles, disregarded its order to turn the vehicles over.

    The vehicles in question, VIN#5TFUYSF11AX146505, VIN#KN8NU73C67U01510 and VIN#2FNDK3JCABA20110, are owned by George Slangar, a used car importer.

    An order from the Civil Law Court instructing the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to turn over three vehicles in its possession was ignored by the Ministry.

    The Court’s order, dated June 11, a copy of which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, instructed the Finance Ministry to deliver the vehicles to the Sheriff of the Court in keeping with the law, and to appear on Monday, June 16, at 10 a.m.

    Unfortunately, the Ministry did not appear before Judge Emery Paye last Monday, neither did it turn over the vehicles.

    The order partly read, “Respondents or defendants, MOF are hereby ordered to deliver the chattels, the subject of these proceedings to the sheriff of the Honorable Court as in keeping with the law.”

    It further reads,” The Sheriffs are commanded to summon the defendants to appear before the Court on the June 16, 2014, at the precise hour of 10 a.m. to answer to the complaint of Mr. George Slangar, a used car importer.”

    In their complaint to the Court, the lawyer representing Slangar alleged that they are owners of three vehicles (VIN#5TFUYSF11AX146505, VIN#KN8NU73C67U01510 and VIN#2FNDK3JCABA20110) imported from the United States of America (USA).

    They alleged that they have paid all government taxes as required by law, and have the right to take delivery of said vehicles from the Free Port of Monrovia.

    Unfortunately, the vehicles are presently at the Port under the custody of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in keeping with the Ministry of Finance’s communication dated January 17, 2014.

    Judge Paye has therefore decided to engage the MOJ, which is expected to in turn bring pressure to bear upon the Finance Ministry to release said vehicles.

    Instructions to the senior government officials, under the signature of Judge Emery Paye, ordered that the Acting Minister along with senior staff members, including the Director of the Liberia National Police (LNP), be made to appear before the Court today, at about 9:30 a.m.

    They are further instructed to show cause, if any, why they should not be held with contempt and punished for their failure to turn over the vehicles as ordered by the court.

    Judge Paye also ordered the MOJ to bring along the said vehicles.

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