Criminal Court “C” has squashed a motion to dismiss the government’s extradition indictment against former Airport Managing Director Ellen Cockrum and her partner Melvin Johnson. Lawyers representing the legal interest of Madam Cockrum and Johnson had earlier filed a motion to relieve their clients of the indictment said to be hanging on them but Criminal Court “C” Judge, Yussif Kaba ruled that the defendants’ legal team did not follow the legal proceedings in filing a motion before a competent jurisdiction of the Liberian Judiciary.
He said the lawyers did not convince the court sufficiently to squash the case against their clients and further informed prosecution to make every effort so that Madam Cockrum and Johnson are extradited from their USA residence or wherever they may be as the court will not prosecute the case in the absence of the accused.
Last year, the government of Liberia made public its request to the State Department of the United States of America (USA) to have the two defendants extradited so that they can face trial for the commission of multiple crimes committed while they worked with the Liberian Government.
The crimes identified by the State lawyers include Economic Sabotage, Misapplication of Entrusted Property, Theft of Property and Criminal Conspiracy; a charge Madam Cockrum said having being hinted with, led her to flee the country.
Prosecution argued that the lawyer who filed the motion resides in the USA and misinformed the jurisdiction in Liberia when he lied under oath that he personally appeared in Liberia before the Justice of the Peace to dismiss the said indictment and attached an affidavit.
Prosecution informed the court that the USA lawyer representing the defendants has already committed fraud, therefore prayed that the motion be squashed.
However, lawyers representing the defendants contended that the prosecution has no practical and rational intention to arrest and prosecute their clients; therefore the indictment should be dismissed.
The defense said without petitioning the U.S Government for the extradition of their client, government has already made a representation by publicly considering their clients as criminals.