The Supreme Court on Thursday, April 10, abruptly halted further proceedings in the murder trial of 12 persons accused of shooting and killing the Plantation Manager of Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC).
Lawyers for the defense had filed a petition at the Supreme Court for a Writ of Certiorari. That Writ was granted Thursday.
This move puts the case on hold until a Justice (or the full bench in the long run) properly reviews the defense team’s petition (appeal).
The High Court also ordered Judge Yussif D. Kaba of Criminal Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice, who was hearing the case, to appear on April 13, before the Justice-in-Chamber, Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks.
Accordingly, Judge Kaba has been ordered to send to the Chambers of the Supreme Court, a true and correct copy of the proceedings at the center of the writ.
Certiorari is a writ (order) of a higher court to a lower court to send all the documents in a case to it, so that the higher court might review the lower court's decision.
At Thursday’s hearing, Judge Kaba surprisingly announced in open court that “this court hereby terminates the trial, due to a necessity growing out of the issuance of the Writ of Certiorari, prayed for by the defendants; and as such, the trial jury is hereby ordered disbanded and discharged.”
Judge Kaba said he had received the order concerning the writ at about 9:40 a.m. from his Court Clerk.
“This morning at about 9:40 AM, the clerk of court received a Writ of Certiorari growing out of this case, from the Chambers of His Honor Philip A.Z. Banks, Justice Presiding in the chambers of the Honorable Supreme Court,” Judge Kaba disclosed.
He pointed out the writ prayed for was issued by the Chambers Justice and that therefore the matter was subject to a review by said Chambers Justice. The matter would therefore be subjected to a continuance, (resumed at a later date) pending the hearing and disposition of the petition prayed for and granted.