Liberia: Commercial Court Judge Orders Gongloe, Others Jail for 20 Days

4 September 2018

The head of three judges of the Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice has ordered reputed rights lawyer, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe and two other lawyers of Gongloe and Associates Law Firm, Cllrs. Philip Gongloe and Momolu Kandakai, jailed at the Monrovia Central Prison for 20 days because their client has been granting radio interviews on a case that is before her.

Judge Eva Mappy-Morgan rendering the decision on Monday, September 3, 2018 instructed the court's clerk to immediately and effectively carry out her orders without fear and favor.

Judge Morgan described as defamatory, false and misleading, statements, which the lawyers' client has been making against the commercial court and the Judiciary in violation of the ethical standards applicable to lawyers in supervising their clients related to matters pending before court.

Judge Mappy-Morgan's decision comes following a warning in August 9, 2013, to the three lawyers from the Gongloe and Associates Law Firm that until the completion of the audit and subsequent completion of all matters in the case involving a Liberian businessman, Amos P. K. Brosius, of Ducor Petroleum Inc. and Monrovia Oil Trading Company (MOTC) owned by a Belgian businessman, Charles Carron, they were barred from speaking with the press and discussing the matter in the media.

Judge Mappy-Morgan added that the court will not tolerate from any party and or any lawyer in these proceedings to conduct a press conference or publish in any newspaper any record of this court pertaining to this matter, it being sub judice. "Any lawyer or party violating this order shall be subject to full weight of the law," she said.

The commercial court has been hearing a long-standing trial of U$19.9m between Ducor Petroleum and MOTC.

Writes P. Nas Mulbah

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