By Edwin G. Wandah
The Assigned Circuit Judge of Criminal Court C, Judge Peter W. Gbenewelleh, has ruled, denying the motion to dismiss an Economic Sabotage, Bribery and Criminal Conspiracy case involving Clemenceau Urey Sr. and Counselor Steven B. Dunbar, (Movant), and, the Government of Liberia, (Respondent).
During the ruling yesterday, Judge Gbenewelleh said, Movant and other Co-Defendants were jointly indicted for the commission of alleged crimes of Economic Sabotage, Bribery and Criminal Conspiracy during the February Term, A.D. 2015.
However, according to Judge Gbenewelleh, they substantially contended in their motion to dismiss that indictment which charged them with the commission of multiple offenses as a reason that their prosecution is barred by statute of limitations on ground that the State failed to commence prosecution within five (5) years as mandated by section 4.2(a) of the Criminal Proceeding Law.
Although, section 4.2(a) of the Criminal Proceeding Law of the Republic of Liberia provides for the prosecution of felony, but it must commence within five (5) years after it is committed, but Movant in this case, averred that the indictment which alleged that the offenses were committed between May 2006 to May 2007, is predicated upon the findings discovered by the General Audit Commission-GAC.
However, prosecution prayed the court to deny and dismiss Movant’s motion, and that the trial be proceeded with on its merits, but a careful perusal of the indictment clearly shows that the Movants and the rest of the other Co-Defendants were jointly indicted for the alleged crimes of Economic Sabotage, Bribery, and Criminal Conspiracy.
“Thus, we are in agreement with the contention of the prosecution that this court cannot determine the issue of statute of limitations raised by the two Movants when they have not been granted severance from the rest of the eight (8) Co- Defendants. In fact, the determination will definitely have an impact on the other eight (8) Co- Defendants since some of them were jointly indicted and charged for the commission of the crimes,” the ruling stated.