Judge Guilty In Bribery Scandal Faces Legislative Impeachment
The Supreme Court, in their ruling, also empowered the Chief Justice to inform Judge Klah not to preside as Associate Judge of the Commercial Court of Montserrado County, as he has been forwarded to the Legislature for impeachment.
“Due to the outrageous and reprehensible nature of Judge Klah’s violations of the Judicial Canons as well as our criminal statute, and the need to deterred judicial officers in this jurisdiction from engaging in gross judicial misconduct, we hereby modify the penalty recommended by the JIC from suspension for not less than one year and unanimously hold that his name be forwarded to the House of Representatives to determine whether the act he was found guilty of amounts to impeachable offences,” the high court indicated in its ruling.
It can be recalled that in July this year. the JIC indicted Judge Klah for receiving over US$19,000 in bribe from Mousa Abdul Karim, party litigant to a debt case, that was brought before him in return for a rule in his (Karim’s) favor.
However, Judge Klah ruled in favor of defendant Swansey Fallah, something which is said to have prompted Karim to complain Judge Klah to the JIC.
“Having determined that Judge Klah’s handling of the debt case between Mr. Swansay Fallah and Mr. Mousa Abdul Karim was influenced by gross impropriety and irregularity, and the judgment therefrom is hereby declared null void and the trial is ordered de novo,” the Supreme Court ruling stated.
Legal experts say this decision by the Supreme Court is rare in the history of Liberia and somewhat serves as deterrence to judges and other members of the judiciary.