Supreme Court Justice Lifts Stay Order In CBL Case

Chief Justice, Francis KokporSupreme Court Justice-in-Chamber Joseph Nagbe has lifted the stay order placed on the case involving five ex-Central Bank of Liberia indictees’ criminal trial and instructed Criminal Court “C” Presiding Judge to resume jurisdiction in said case.

Justice Nagbe a week ago placed a stay order on the criminal trial and later ordered prosecution and defence lawyers to appear for a conference on Tuesday, June 4, in the Supreme Court Chamber.

State Prosecutors have accused Judge Peter Gbeneweleh of taking sides in the proceeding and wanted the Justice-in-Chamber to end his legal authority in the trial of the case.

The stay order came immediately after Prosecution lawyers pleaded with the Justice-in – Chamber to end Judge Gbeneweleh’s legal authority in the criminal trial of the five ex-CBL officials at the Criminal Court ‘C’.

Following the June 4 conference, Justice Nagbe ordered that Judge Gbeneweleh resume jurisdiction in the case because of the facts surrounding the case.

He said the Judge should go ahead and rule in the justification of the bond filed by one of the defendants, Milton Weeks, who served as Executive Governor of the apex bank.

Charles Sirleaf, Dorbor Hagba, Richard Walker, Milton Weeks and Joseph Dennis are facing criminal prosecution at Criminal Court ‘C’ for allegedly conspiring with a Swiss company, Crane Currency, to steal over two billion Liberian dollars from the Government of Liberia.

The Prosecution legal team’s appeal was contained in a seventeen count petition seeking a Writ of Prohibition from Associate Justice Nagbe against Judge Gbeneweleh consistent with the Civil Procedure Law of Liberia.

The law states: “Prohibition is a special proceeding to obtain a writ ordering the respondent to refrain from further pursuing a judicial action or proceeding in action specified therein.

Barely two months after being released on bail from the Monrovia Central Prison, the five indicted ex-officials of the Central Bank of Liberia made their first court appearance on Tuesday, May 21.

The five officials, along with their lawyers, had come to the court to justify their sureties after the prosecution lawyers had challenged their respective bonds in order to establish their adequacy.

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