‘US Treasury’s Report, a Blanket Indictment of Liberia’s Judges’

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Temple of Justice, Monrovia Liberia

National Association of Trial Judges alarms

Just a day after the Supreme Court claimed that there is no sufficient evidence to punish any of those named into the US Treasury Department’s report of corruption against Liberian’s Judges, an umbrella body of judges in the country has seriously frowned on the US government’s action, describing it as a “blanket indictment of Liberian judges.”

The National Association of Trial Judges of Liberia, in a press release issued on Wednesday, January 20, said they are all of the opinion that the statement issued by the US Treasury Department failed the test of balance and some degree of accurate reporting of the efforts by Liberian judges to perform their constitutional duties irrespective of the country’s economic and security conditions.

The Liberian judges further noted that they are appalled and extremely disappointed by the widespread allegations made against its members as contained in the US Treasury Department’s report released on December 9, 2020.

The judges’ association release signed by Attorney L. Ben Barco further noted that the Treasury Department’s report is not only short of certainty, specificity and truth-telling as legally and professionally required under such circumstances, but “fails to offer a scintilla of proof, especially regarding the allegation that Cllr. Varney Sherman offered bribes to multiple judges associated with his trial in 2010 in his favor.”

They further quoted the US Treasury Department’s report, which says, “Sherman has routinely paid judges to decide cases in his favor and that Sherman’s acts of bribery demonstrate a larger pattern of behavior to exercise influence over the Liberian’s Judiciary.”

The trial judges claim that these allegations against Liberia’s Judges are extremely damning and, inter alia, have the proclivity to further derail public confidence and trust in the Liberian Justice System and adversely impact the investment climate.

According to the judges, bribery is a felonious crime, and it is a grave criminal offense under the criminal procedure code of Liberia.

Therefore, the body of judges noted that “They wish to caution readers that the sweeping allegations of bribery of Liberian judges contained in the release should in no form or manner incite public damnation and scorn of Liberian judges.” 

They also challenged the US Treasury Department to provide substantial evidentiary proof of its allegations of bribery to Liberian judges, stressing, “Failing which we immediately demand retraction of the said allegations in a similar issued press released.”

Likewise, the Trial Judges Association assured the US government and all of its agencies that it unreservedly avails itself, and would relentlessly lend its cooperation to working with the US Treasury Department, through the US Embassy near Monrovia, in ascertaining the specifics of the allegations contained in the December 9, 2020 press release.

“And if need be, bring the judges involved to face an investigation under the established investigative framework instituted by the Supreme Court of Liberia,” the judges noted.

12 COMMENTS

  1. No doubt! It seems, Liberian [JUDGES] seek their [OWN] interest first; before making judgements in many of “Liberia’s High Profile”, corruption cases. No matter the evidence, how is it that no defendant is ever found guilty? One thing that is cleared. The judges, Plaintiffs and Defense Attorneys; they-all belong to the same [LEGAL] profession/society. In spite of court rooms dramas, it appears, there are times when the three groups become one cell; for their [OWN] best interests.

    • Henry – Yeah folks back home are good at making grandiose denials but it means nothing because everyone knows what goes on in the judiciary. It’s like a bad movie with the same script but different actors every time. No matter how strong the evidence, the defendant is always found not guilty at the end because he/she has paid bribes to the judge and prosecutor. And they don’t even care about what the citizens think about their corruption because there is no consequence. They need to clean up their act because it’s hurting not only Liberians but it’s keeping potential investors away. Corruption is destroying, not rebuilding the country.

  2. My people at the National Association of Trial Judges, thank you for underscoring your importance in the harmonious development of Liberia.
    Thank God you know that without a credible and reliable legal environment, every development effort is a vain toil.

    However, I know that the USA is the greatest nation on planet earth. The Treasury Department, without concrete and abundant proofs, will NEVER single out an individual from a professional corps to place sanctions on him for no reasons.

    Many local and foreign businesspeople complain of our judiciary system. Many have been victims of the opaqueness of legal proceedings in our country. This indeed, is not sanitary to our vision of reconstruction.
    We therefore urge you to undertake thorough investigations on the allegations of the US Treasury Department. They will NEVER place sanctions on an individual for futility; something fishy must have gone on.

    Know that they have access to all our financial transactions in their country. All our leaders have their bank accounts in the USA.
    That’s why you, our leaders, should learn to invest in your country. When you corrupt or steal and build something decent for yourselves in your villages, or make a big farm to provide jobs for the villagers, or anything that can improve the livelihood of your own stock, no one will place sanctions on you because the money will not transit in any bank accounts in the USA.

    There is no smoke without fire, my people!

  3. Well, well! I can not and will not defend the trial judges of Liberia on this particular issue. First and foremost, I think the criminal justice system of Liberia needs a facelift. But I will hasten to say that if there’s evidence to prove that the trial judges of Liberia are “submerged under water”, because of corruption, the US Treasury investigation should be made public.

    • Hney – The entire system of governance in Liberia is corrupt from George Weah on down. EJS was too except she wasn’t so blatant as George Weah. No one, and I say no one has the moral high ground to point fingers. The country is rotten to the core and I’m not sure it can be cleaned up. Corruption is slowly killing the country.

    • The fact that government auditors can be murdered and no one is held accountable, this should tell you something about where Liberia is headed. Under George Weah’s leadership, the country is a waste land. I know someone who just returned from Liberia and she says she would not encourage anyone to visit there. It’s a mess and the country is dirty. It’s like barbarians running the place.

  4. My dear friend James,
    I read your nicely written comment. But please do a favor for me if you could. That African is constantly stalking me. Can you whack him for a few seconds?

    James, I understand that changes are badly needed in the country. That’s exactly why I recommend dismissals and reshuffling. You just can’t have the same people doing their jobs who cannot produce.

    Look man, I was in Liberia in 2019 for three months. I met with Jefferson Kojee and discussed a plan to clean Monrovia up. Since Monrovia is divided into communities, I suggested to him, “let’s assign contractors,” to collect garbage throughout the city to each community. For instance, the Busay quarter community will have a contractor who will be responsible to hire a feel hands in order to collect garbage in that community, and so on. I don’t want to continue with my plan because that bad African guy could easily incorporate it into his master plan, if he has any. Trust me, I will not discuss how the money will be obtained.

    The mayor seemed interested, but the time factor doomed my plan’s follow up. Guess what James? Kojee and I took the same flight to Belgian, Brussels. He said to me at the airport, “my man where you going”? He didn’t know that I am not a Monrovia resident.

    There is a mafia in Liberia! If you go back home, you definitely have to be a part of that mafia in order to do anything. How come? Because of insecurity and discomfort. If you do something creative while you are not a mafia don like them, their little environment is seriously threatened. It started a long time ago!

    James, you’re right. The blame goes around. It’s not stagnant neither should it be aimed at one person. All of us have to do something in order to change the direction of the rising tide. I would have gone home last year in order to see Kojee. But the pandemic is the problem.

    • The country is run by criminals, period. This is why no one goes to prison for stealing public funds. Liberians are behaving like barbarians – pillaging, and raping everything they can get their hands on. They’re ruthless! They don’t know what nation building is about. And if you threaten their means of stealing, they hire hitmen to murder you. This is George Weah’s Liberia. Who the hell would want to invest in that murderer’s den? You would need a platoon of security guards to protect you 24/7.

  5. Mon Petit Frere,
    I should ask you to re-read James’s comments. James states unequivocally that “no one has the moral high ground to point fingers”. He is right from east to west. However, that’s not how you feel Mon Frere. James suggests that Weah, EJS, the criminals who constantly pillage our country for their egocentric means ought to take note.

  6. Should James whack me or you?
    He called your attention on several of your posts. Don’t you see that as a disavow?
    Read his interjections again, Grand Frere!

    James concludes: “It’s like barbarians running the place”
    Did you skip the above comment? Please look it up again, I am sure you will be able to see it this time.

    He evoked the 4 auditors murdered in cold blood by Weah, with no justice for the poor. There is an established witchcraft coven to eliminate discordant voices.

    Grand Frere, thank God COVID-19 came to the world, and I pray you NEVER foot in Liberia to serve the Weah’s government because I have come to love you dearly.
    Do you know why I pray you don’t go to Liberia now until we (ANC) can take over the country? Because they will send you to everlasting sleep.

    Stop being an advocate of the devil, my beloved Grand Frere!

  7. The United States government has been accused by Liberians over the many years that it has done nothing to that God Forsaken Country, in terms of the lacks of its moral principles or moral equivalencies to bad governance practices and corruption. While ignoring that practiced to material aid in an effort seemed by many Liberians by the US to support bad governance and all of its practices in the God Forsaken Country ! Regardless of which regime is in charged.
    Sometimes citizens and opposition groups alike have questioned the US moral principles to as it relates to bad governance practices to it material aid support. Something that many corrupt regimes found themselves boasting of about their relationship to the US authorities.
    Finally ! The moral equivalencies to material aid support have manifested itself. This this overlooked of bad governance practices and corruption can not be tolerated any further. And this is welcome news to citizens who wanted the moral equivalencies to material aid applied just the same. And so the question has always been by Liberians that the US has not done enough or just does not care, but only cares for its own political interests.
    But that is not so. The war which started on that watch of a Republican President, ended with another Republican President. And to apply the US government moral principles to that country after the, the Bush administration only sent a ship or plane load of textbooks, as aid. While giving Ghana to maintain its democratic principles and political stability, almost 4 hundred million US dollars.
    It was reported in some quarters that Liberians were shocked, knowing that Ghana was receiving financial aid to Liberia receiving textbooks,( perhaps they were textbooks on corruption and bad governance practices).
    The US government through its State Department countries’ reports have called the Liberian government attention to judges being corrupt. Both under the regimes of Ellen and George. The reports even mentioned the poor conditions and prolonged detention of Liberians detainees without trial. But in every instances, the regime would denied that the judges are corrupt.
    This time around, Liberians are very much happy under the economic hardship they are facing to the moral principles taken by the United States government to corrupt officials and lawmakers and judges to that of material aid.
    It is long overdue, since 2005 by a Republican President George Bush to yet another Republican President, Donald Trump !
    Perhaps, to some it should not matters which party or president that applied the US moral principles to that God Forsaken Country, so long that it is applied. But just the same, all eyes are on the new administration at the White House to go even further to help clean up the swamp in this God Forsaken Country that needs so much cleaning. Another material aid might just send the wrong message so soon without some changes.
    This moral principle by the US while overdue, speaks volumes that the citizens are not alone in their struggle to see that their government puts an end to corruption in the judiciary branch.

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