In a bold statement, Criminal Court C Judge Yamie Gbeisay has accused government officials of habitually “disrespecting the country’s laws.”
Judge Gbeisay’s remarks come in the wake of failed attempts by Prosecutors to get Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, Madam Mildred Sayon, to testify in the ongoing missing LD$16 billion case that involved the former Executive Governor and Board Members of the Central Bank of Liberia.
In a harsh tone, Judge Gbeisay said that “Top government officials don’t respect the law of the Republic and even the courts.”
Gbeisay went on to say that he clearly understands the government lawyers’ frustration with their witnesses that include senior government officials who are not willing to appear in court to testify on behalf of the state.
“This judge is known to be harsh, but I will grant the government lawyers permission to postpone the case,” Gbeisay noted.
His frustration comes after government lawyers are finding it difficult to have former and current lawmakers to testify about their knowledge as to whether or not the CBL board members received a joint resolution to print the controversial LD$10 billion at the center of the lawsuit. The board members had repeatedly argued that there was a joint resolution by both Houses — the Senate and House of Representatives — to print the LD$10 billion, as was done in the case of the LD$5 billion.
It is that argument the government lawyers rejected and subsequently prayed the court to have some of the lawmakers including former Speaker, J. Emmanuel Nuquay, to testify.
However, government lawyers are finding it hard to get Nuquay and other senior government officials to testify. Earlier, the government lawyers told Judge Gbeisay that the testimonies of the senior government officials were very important to their case; therefore, the court should grant their request to suspend the case until the witnesses can appear.
In counter-argument, the defense lawyers argued that the state request was made in bad faith because Madame Sayon’s failure to “have positively respond to the court order is contemptuous and an affront to the judiciary.”
“In fact, she is an officer of the House of Representatives, which is a separate arm of the government and should be held in contempt,” the defense team further argued.
Meanwhile, Judge Gbeisay has rescheduled the case for today, Thursday, July 16, to have former Speaker Nuquay appear and, refusal to grant defense lawyers’ request, to hold the senior government officials in contempt.