Judge Refuses To Step Down In Sex Slaves Trial

The Presiding Judge in the ongoing sex slaves’ trial at the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, has refused to recuse from the case despite the motion filed against him to step down.

Last week, counsels for defendant Abbas EL Debes, who is standing trial on allegations of human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, gang rape and criminal conspiracy, filed a 5-count motion for Judge William Sando to recuse himself from the case on grounds of being biased.

The defense also accused Judge Sando of not being neutral and has special interest in the case.

In his ruling last Friday, Judge Sando said the defense’s motion was naked because they have not shown any proof of biasness.

Judge Sando told the court that the defense has remedy at law if they feel that he has interest to preside over the trial, either to file a petition for writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court of Liberia. A petition for a writ of Certiorari is a writ intended to review the records of the Presiding Judge. During an argument last Thursday on the motion to recuse from the case, Atty. Arthur T. Johnson told Judge Sando that he has many cases pending before the court to be heard.

Atty. Johnson said their first motion to admit defendant Debes on bail on grounds of being suffering from kidney complications was denied by Judge Sando.

He argued that their client fell off in the Bomi prison last Thursday and was briefly administered at the Liberian Government Hospital, where nurses diagnosed that he was suffering from high malaria.