In Cockrum’s Trial: Court Frowns On State Lawyers Delay Tactics
Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge A. Blamo Dixon says the entire submission of prosecution in the case involving the Government of Liberia versus Ellen Cockrum is becoming contemptuous and provocative.
udge Dixon made the statement during the 27th day jury sitting of the Circuit Court yesterday when he boldly told government lawyers how they have proven to be ill-prepared in presenting the case which has manifested national and international interest for trial before the court.
The Criminal Court ‘C’ issued a notice of assignment for a pre-trial conference and full disclosure were sua sponta issued by the court for prosecution to make full disclosure of its evidence for onward transmission to the defendants for transparency but the prosecution appeared in court only to inform the judge that the needed evidence were still in the case file while others were being processed and that in fact there was absolutely no law compelling it to disclose its evidence is a misunderstanding of the law.
Prosecution told the court that the defense should take note that the absence of the instrument requested by the court should in no way serve as a stay or bar the trial from being proceeded with because it is only required predicated upon prosecution’s own willingness to be overly transparent.
The State lawyers argued and challenged the defendants to produce a law if they so believe on the contrary that the instruments which the prosecution has to use to prove its case must be made available to them before the trial commences.
Prosecution then prayed the court to have the process of disclosure to be aborted and begin the trial and when the court deemed it fit and timely, they would bring forth their evidences.
Defense resisted prosecution by indicating that in criminal proceeding the law provides for a full disclosure of instruments relied upon by the prosecution against the defendants during pre-trial conference.
Co-defendant Musa Bility who is represented in court by Pierre Twe and Associates informed the court that they were absent from the conference yesterday because they had earlier prayed the court to grant it time but the court granted absence of the co-defendant Bility and his legal counsel without an excuse thereby taking judicial notice and insisted that whenever the case is called and presented in court is co-defendant Bility will be held in contempt and punished in keeping with the law.
The court said the assignment which brought the counsels in court yesterday was issued since November 27 for the continuation of the pre-trial conference and full disclosure of evidence by the parties therefore the filing of a motion for severance in favor of the co-defendant Bility is no excuse for him to be absent from court.