20 February 2013

Liberia: 'Don't Allow Sympathy Override Your Rational Thought' - Judge Cautions Jurors

Jurors' approach to cases should be on the basis of evidence and facts, Judge Yussif Kaba of Criminal Court-C cautioned when he charged members of a 15-man empanel jury.

He said jurors should not allow sympathy to override their rational thought as they take the oath to serve as jurors in the case involving ex-police boss and three others.

To the best of the conscience, he said Jurors' role in the ongoing trial is to prevail on the facts in the case, adding that "facts will be based from witnesses' testimonies and documentary evidence that will be produced by both prosecuting and defense lawyers during the hearing of the case."

Still prevailing on them to demonstrate sense of responsibility in the performance of their assigned duties, Presiding Judge Kaba reminded them (jurors) that any statement emanating from the lawyers (prosecution and defense) representing their clients during the trial are not evidence and also should not be considered as facts in the case and should be disregarded.

Charging the jurors yesterday February 19, 2013 at the start of the case, he reminded the jurors of their importance in the legal profession, in that they are considered as judges of the 'Facts' and that their understanding of said case should be drawn from the facts, which are drawn from witnesses' testimonies and the documentary evidence produced in court during the trial.

The Criminal Court-C Judge was quick to warn the jurors and lawyers that he would not hesitate to punish any of them caught in an unlawful act intended to hang dark cloud over the trial following investigation.

Meanwhile, the former Director of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Beatrice Munah Sieh Brown and three others indicted for allegedly stealing US$199,800.00 from the Government of Liberia have pleaded not guilty.

Those indicted include former police boss, are defendants Prince O. A. Akinremi, proprietor of Ultimate Investment and Holding Company, Kaymah N. Zeon and Nebo Garlo, Physical Auditors of the Ministry of Finance.

At the same time, hearing into the case continues today as prosecuting lawyers are expected to produce their first witness.

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