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Report by Arthur F. Beare_arthurfbeare@gmail.com
MONROVIA: The Government of Liberia has attributed its decision to drop charges against former Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority Ellen Corkrum to what it attributes to insufficient evidence.
Madam Corkrum was indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County in November 2013 by Criminal Court “C” on allegations of Economic Sabotage, Theft of Property, Criminal Conspiracy and misapplication of entrusted property.
Appearing on the OK Morning Rush Monday, Assistant Justice Minister for Litigation, Cllr. Wesseh A. Wesseh said government will not base its prosecution on what he described as mere political opinion or sentiments.
Minister Wesseh argued that in criminal prosecution pieces of evidence leading to indictment should be enough to sustain the indictment or the investigation.
“We can safely tell you that the evidences against Madam Corkrum were not sufficient enough to have a conviction. It does not matter whether another individual was Nolle prosequa, but we are saying to go for prosecution, you must have evidence that will be strong enough to convince the court or judge who will be sitting on the case.
According to the Assistant Justice Minister, the Republic of Liberia in keeping with its criminal procedure law Section 18.1gives the republic the responsibility and obligation to institute all criminal charges against an accused person and at the same time request court to Nolle Prosequoi said case.
It is the Government of Liberia that indicted madam Corkrum base on probable cause, so, it is the same Liberian government came back and said evidence against this person is not sufficient enough.
We don’t carry out political indictment. If you do political indictment then the case is not to seek justice, but to seek persecution of the individual. So, the Charges were dropped without prejudice to the state, and meaning that anytime the Government feels it has evidence sufficient enough for conviction, and then the Government can re-file the case.
Meanwhile a Veteran Liberian Journalist and Attorney-At-Law, Alphonsus Zeon said government’s decision to drop charges against Madam Corkrum undermines the fight against corruption and the country’s international image.
I think there has to be more education because, these issues are not just state law issues. This government has promised to fight Corruption, but it is this same Government that is seen dropping Corruption charges against individuals without a proper information to convince the public.
It does greater damage to the image of the Country at the level of the international community.