While former Liberia Telecommunications Authority Chair Albert Bropleh was adjudged guilty recently of economic sabotage and other crimes, his younger sibling Dr. Laurence K. Bropleh, an ex-minister similarly indicted for financial malpractices, is being pursued here by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of Liberia has sent down a mandate to the Criminal Court "C", informing it that prosecutors preserve the right to re-instate new criminal proceedings against the former Information Minister Dr. Laurence K. Bropleh.
The Supreme Court's mandate read at the lower court Wednesday, August 15, 2012 said the dismissal of the petition for a writ of prohibition does not prevent the state, under its judgment from further prosecuting the defendant since the case was not adjudged on the merits.
The high court therefore mandated Criminal Court "C" to resume jurisdiction over the case and to give effect to the judgment consistent with the opinion of the Supreme Court.
During the last court term, the Supreme Court denied a writ of prohibition filed before it by prosecutors, seeking to reverse assigned Court "C" Judge William K. Ware's ruling in which he dismissed the indictment drawn against Dr. Bropleh.
The full bench of the Supreme Court also reversed the decision of Associate Justice in Chambers Francis S. Korkpor, and quashed the pre-emptory writ (order) issued.
The Supreme Court mandated that the gross violation of the provisions of the statue governing dismissals of criminal proceedings and the trial judge William K. Ware's consequent deprivation of the right of appeal be corrected to conform to the law.
Therefore, the Supreme Court determined that Judge Ware's earlier dismissal of the indictment with prejudice be reversed to the right of the state to re-indict Bropleh. Dr. Bropleh was indicted on January 29, 2010 by a special grand jury for Montserrado County for alleged theft of property, forgery, and criminal facilitation.
But the Supreme Court established that on December 7, 2010 - the day Dr. Bropleh's trial was scheduled, none of the state prosecutors appeared for the hearing.
Taking advantage of prosecutors' absence, the defense lawyers subsequently appealed for the lower to dismiss the indictment drawn against Bropleh with prejudice, invoking Chapter 18, Section 18.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law, Title Two Liberian Code of Law Revised.
Judge Ware instantly released Dr. Bropleh from entirely answering to the case laid in the indictment, and ordered all of his rights restored.
However, in executing the Supreme Court's mandate Wednesday, newly assigned Criminal Court "C" Judge Peter W. Gbeneweleh set aside Judge Ware's earlier ruling, and dismissed the indictment without prejudice.