13 November 2012

Liberia: Judge Frowns On Low Budget, Jury Tampering

The First Judicial Criminal Courts for Montserrado County have opened for the November term of court with low budget and jury tampering topping various remarks.

The Criminal Courts "A, B, C, D and E" were formally opened Monday for the November term.

At an opening ceremony held at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Judge Peter Gbennewelleh called for increased budgetary allotment to the Judiciary in order to afford judges and lawyers to effectively carry out their duties.

Judge Gbennewelleh said it was important that judges and lawyers, like people in other arms of government, be allotted budget that will commensurate with their works.

He also warned would-be jurors against acts of bribery during the November Term of court. During the just ended term of court, several jurors were tried and sentenced for acts of briberies.

Some lawyers and judges also claimed that the alleged act of corruption amongst jurors was derailing the entire judicial system.

In separate statements Monday, the lawyers recalled that individuals selected to serve as jurors perceived jury service as 'quick impact project'.

The lawyers warned individuals opting to serve as jurors to consider themselves as part of the country's judiciary system, as their actions would either positively or negatively impact the entire system.

The lawyers said the issue of bribery and corruption in the country's justice system needs to be holistically addressed.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in one of her annual messages stated that the country's justice system still needs radical reform and improvement.

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