Pro-Media Group Hails Supreme Court Decision

A pro-media group, the Strategic Journalist Committee says it backs the decision of the Supreme Court of Liberia against Front page Africa Managing Editor, Rodney Sieh.

In a release issued late yesterday evening, the group through its Executive Director, Rhodoxon Fayiah said the ruling by the Supreme Court was in conformity with the laws of Liberia and that Dr. Chris Toe followed the law by suing Mr. Sieh and the FrontPage Newspaper for libel.

The media group said Mr. Sieh responded that he had proof and that at the trial he would prove the allegations that Dr. Toe stole the Liberian people’s money and asked for bribe from foreign companies that wanted to do business in Liberia in the Agriculture Ministry.

According to Mr. Fayiah, unfortunately, at the trial Mr. Sieh did not present evidence to support his stories and the stories of his newspaper that Dr. Toe stole money and took bribes.

The jury therefore brought back a verdict of liable against Mr. Sieh and his newspaper, FrontPage Africa. Mr. Sieh then said that the jury was bribed. The judge right away carried out an investigation into the allegations. In the case of Mr. Sieh, the judge found that again Mr. Sieh was not telling the truth.

The judge therefore confirmed the verdict of the jury and gave judgment finding Mr. Sieh liable to Dr. Toe and ordering that be pay to Dr. Toe for all the damage he and his newspaper had caused Dr. Toe, the amount of US1.5 Million dollars.

Mr. Sieh’s lawyers announced appeal from the judgment to the Supreme Court. But Mr. Sieb refused to put up any bond or to have his lawyers file a notice of completion of appeal, required by the statute before the Supreme Court can hear your case. At the time, Mr. Sieh contended that he does not believe in the Liberian judicial system and therefore he would not waste his time perfecting his appeal.

Mr. Sieh and his FrontPage Africa Newspaper failed to take the appeal required by law, the Supreme Court could not hear his case. That is the law passed by the Legislature. This is the decision that the Supreme Court made to obey the law and that is why Mr. Sieh is now attacking Justice Banks and the Supreme Court in his newspaper and on the internet.

“As far as Justice Banks is concerned, he was not even on the Supreme Court bench when the case was tried or even when Mr. Sieh failed to comply with the law to take appeal,” Mr. Fayiah said.