After been indicted along with several co-defendants including Ellen Corkrum, for allegedly stealing millions of United States Dollars from the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), Mr. Musa H. Bility, will now get a separate trial.
He was granted a separate trial on Tuesday, January 7, after his request for a “Motion for Severance” (separate trial) was accepted by Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice.
Bility is the president of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) and former Board Chair of LAA.
Besides, Bility and Madam Corkurm, others included First International Bank (FIB), Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), as well as the Diaspora Consulting, and Melvin Johnson and Associates, all of the United State of America (USA).
They were charged with economic sabotage, theft of property, criminal conspiracy and misapplication of entrusted property by the government.
But, accepting Bility’s request, on Tuesday, Judge Dixon declared, “Musa Bility can’t be tried with the co-defendants, because, his interest and defense will clash with those of the other co defendants.”
“As regards his separate trial with FIBank,” Judge Dixon noted, “No way he can be tried with the bank, because the bank has restituted the US$56,750 transferred from LAA accounts to Melvin Johnson and Associates in the US.”
Judge Dixon further ruled that “Bility will not be tried along with the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment on grounds that my predecessor already granted separate trial for that Bank.”
“He can’t be tried with co-defendants Ellen Corkrum and Melvin Johnson, because both of them are not in the bailiwick of the court.”
“Therefore, the Motion Severance (separate trial) for Bility is hereby granted and his trial will commence on February 12,” the Criminal Court Judge ordered.
Bility’s lawyer in a five-count request argued that he as chairman of the Board of Directors, Bility did not have the statutory responsibility for the day to day running of the LAA.
They further argued that trying him and the other defendants in a joint trial would be greatly prejudicial to his interests.
The lawyers also contended that as a matter of law and fact Bility’s defense to the crimes are separate and distinct, and therefore, were contradictory to the defense of the other named defendants.