Judge Boimah Kontoe of the Criminal Court C in Monrovia has signed off a conditional release for the son of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Charles Sirleaf, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.
Mr. Sirleaf and four other executives of the bank were arrested and imprisoned at the notorious Monrovia Central Prison following the release of two reports – – The USAID-funded Kroll report and the Special Presidential Task Force – into Liberia’s missing billions saga and the controversial disbursement of US$25 million intended for infusion in the economy to curb the rising exchange rate between the Liberian and US dollar.
Mr. Sirleaf, along with former governor Milton Weeks, Dorbor Hagba, Director for Banking, Richard Walker, Director for Operations and Joseph Dennis, Deputy Director for Internal Audit, have been charged with Economic Sabotage, Criminal Conspiracy and Criminal Facilitation.
Mr. Sirleaf was indicted on February 26, 2019 and arrested and incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison. But due to concerns over his health he subsequently filed a Motion of Severe Osteoarthritis of the Right Shoulder, Right Lobar Pneumonia R/O Lung Cancer, Alcoholic Liver Disease, Gout and Systemic Hypotension with hypercholesterolemia which makes his continued confinement at the Monrovia Central Prison to pose risk or death to him or serious permanent injury to his health.
“Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, Movant/Defendant, Charles E. Sirleaf is hereby granted compassionate release in view of his medical condition which had not been controverted by the State as follows to with: That Movant/defendant Charles Sirleaf is order removed from the Monrovia Central Prison to his home or any other place of dwelling desirable to him within the City of Monrovia or its environs under the condition of house arrest in that his passport is ordered surrendered to the sheriff of this court and he does not have the liberty to have the visitation of any other persons other than his lawyer(s), doctor(s), parents, his wife, if any, and his children during the pendency of this compassionate release.
Mr. Sirleaf and five other Central Bank of Liberia Executives were arrested last week and remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison.
According to the signed release in possession of FrontPageAfrica, Mr. Sirleaf’s lawyers annexed to his three counts motion, a medical report over the signature of Eli M. Kiswahili, Medical Doctor, bearing license #664 also has been deionized of the five decides conditions averted in the motion. “At the call of the Motion for hearing, Prosecution requested Court for Permission to spread its response to response of respondent/prosecution is a tactic concession except that prosecution contends that the Movant not being a convict, cannot be the beneficiary of the compassionate leave. Respondent/Prosecution contends that Movant have more under Chapter 34 of the Criminal Procedure law instead Chapter 13 as the Motion portrayed.”Mr. Sirleaf was scheduled for release Thursday but due to the late filing of his lawyers, prosecutors did not have sufficient time to file a written resistance for hearing of the motion which is called for hearing on Friday.
Prosecutors while opting not to object to Mr. Sirleaf’s lawyers’ request, noted that because the trial ought to be carried on for accused person who is well and or at life, it would not at this stage interpose objections to the granting of the Movant a Compassionate Release from the Monrovia Central Prison for the purpose for having access to his doctor and his medication but with the following conditions to be observed by this Honorable Court in the granting of the Motion.
Judge Kontoe in his ruling granted the condition compassionate release of Mr. Sirleaf on the following conditions: “That the Passport/Passports and/or all travel document in the hand of the Movant be surrendered to this honorable court; That upon the release of the Movant from the Monrovia Central Prison, be placed under house of arrest under the supervision of this honorable court; That the movant be allowed to be visited by only closed family members, his doctor and his lawyer and that while under house arrest the Movant be made to be executed and report to this honorable court.”
Said Judge Kontoe: “Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, Movant/Defendant, Charles E. Sirleaf is hereby granted compassionate release in view of his medical condition which had not been controverted by the State as follows to with: That Movant/defendant Charles Sirleaf is order removed from the Monrovia Central Prison to his home or any other place of dwelling desirable to him within the City of Monrovia or its environs under the condition of house arrest in that his passport is ordered surrendered to the sheriff of this court and he does not have the liberty to have the visitation of any other persons other than his lawyer(s), doctor(s), parents, his wife, if any, and his children during the pendency of this compassionate release. The state, during the pendency of this compassionate release, is ordered to maintain security surveillance of the Movant’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the pendency of the compassionate release; while Movant is ordered to report to the sheriff of this court twice a month at an interval of two weeks. The clerk of this is hereby ordered to issue release in favor of Movant/Defendant on condition stated above. So ordered.”
Under the terms of the ruling, Mr. Sirleaf will be kept under close 24-hour surveillance. “Prosecution /Respondent also prays court order the state to keep security surveillance, 24 hour a day and seven days in a week until Movant shall have recovered to stand trial. Respondent/Prosecution also prays court that in granting compassionate release, Movant be ordered to report to the sheriff of this court twice a month during the tendency of the compassionate release.”
Judge Kontoe agreed that Mr. Sirleaf’s health was a matter of concern, thus approving the compassionate release under house arrest. “Argument haven been entertained and held on both sides this court says, the veracity and validity of Movant Exhibits , seem being the medical records attached to Movant’s Motion not haven being challenged by Prosecution/Respondent, and this court having reason to believe that the medical condition of the Movant is worsen, if not granted an opportunity to have access to his doctor and medication during the pendency of these proceedings, that the removal of Movant to some other place of conferment where his health may be better preserved.