Liberia-June 20, 2023: Lawyers representing former Chief Justice Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, Rebecca Youdeh Wisner; Gertrude Newton, and Alice Johnson have filed a writ of “HABEAS CORPUS” against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Liberia National Police (LNP).
The writ follows Tuesday, June 20, 2023, arrest and subsequent charge of murder, criminal conspiracy and providing false information against Cllr. Scott, Rebecca Youdeh Wisner; Gertrude Newton and Alice Johnson by authorities the Liberian National Police linked to the gruesome murder of Charloe Musu, daughter of Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott.
The Scott Family represented by their Lawyers Atty. N. Dickson R. Tamba and Cllr. Augustine C. Fayiah filed the writ of habeas corpus at the First Judicial Circuit Court, Criminal Court “C” in Montserrado County.
According to the Petitioners’ Lawyers, they believe that their clients were not given due process during police investigation; as such, they should be released.
The Lawyers in the petition filed noted that on Tuesday 20 June 2023, they (petitioners) were asked by the Liberia National Police to appear along with their clients at the headquarters of the police, something that was done.
Cllr. Fayiah and Atty. Tamba further told the criminal court “c” that upon their arrival at the police headquarters, their clients were arrested, detained and charged with murder, criminal conspiracy and for providing false information during the investigation.
According to them, their clients ( Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, Rebecca Youdeh Wisner; Gertrude Newton and Alice Jonson) were not formally charged in accordance with the laws of Liberia and such action by the Liberian government violates article 21 of the Liberian constitution.
They noted that such action on the part of the defendants (Ministry of Justice and LNP) is unlawful and is enough to grant them writ of habeas corpus.
Article 21(f) of the Liberian 1986 Constitution states “Every person arrested or detained shall be formally charged and presented before a court of competent jurisdiction within forty-eight hours. Should the court determine the existence of a prima facie case against the accused, it shall issue a formal writ of arrest setting out the charge or charges and shall provide for a speedy trial. There shall be no preventive detention”.
Article 21 also states “the right to the writ of habeas corpus, being essential to the protection of human rights, shall be guaranteed at all times and any person arrested or detained and not present to court within the period specified may in consequence exercise this right”.
Cllr. Scott and other family members charged will spent their first night behind bars at the Police headquarters and return to the Criminal Court on Wednesday morning based on the writ of Hebeau Corpus.
The arrest and subsequent charge
Of Cllr Scott sparked tension on the grounds of the Police headquarters with some families being arrested and dragged in the presence of journalists for protesting the arrest of the former Chief Justice.
According to some family members, Cllr Scott and others charged are innocent and must be released by the government.
It can be recalled, on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at about 11:00 PM, alleged armed robbers evaded the home of former Chief Justice, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott and gruesomely murdered Charloe Musu; a senior student at Starz University.
Since the accident, there has been tension between the Liberia National Police and the family of the late Charloe Musu in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
An autopsy conducted on the remains of the late Charloe Musu revealed that the deceased died from Exsanguination (drained of blood).
Meanwhile, the family of the Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott has threatened to take legal action against the Liberia government over the number of injustices, and unlawful acts committed against members of their family and for reputation damage.
“Now we are here, we are taking it to the next step. Some of these people who been out there tarnishing my mother’s reputation, it is about to be on now. The battle is on now, our lawyers are ready and we are all ready”, Son of Cllr. Scott added.
They noted that Cllr. Scott and other members of their family continue to be abused and intimated since the murder of their daughter Charloe Musu. They also promised to leave no stone unturned in revealing the truth behind the death of Charloe and the inhumane treatment received by members of their family since the launch of an investigation by the Liberian National Police into the matter.
They at the same time condemned the charges levelled against Cllr. Scott, Rebecca Youdeh Wisner; Gertrude Newton and Alice Johnson want them released from detention.
“Some of these people who are all part of this, they are coming to understand and we will see them. Liberia, you know who is responsible for this. We are going to talk all very soon and the world will know very soon. My mother is innocent, my family is innocent, all that my mother ever done is to provide service to the Liberian people” He stressed.