Liberia: Roots FM Case Resumes

13 August 2020

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Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie of Criminal Court "A" at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has instructed the Judge of Monrovia City Court to resume jurisdiction in the case involving Roots FM verses the Government of Liberia.

The station owned by talkshow host Henry Costa was closed by the Government of Liberia on allegation that it was operating without valid license and was also inciting violence in the country.

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In his instruction to Magistrate Jomah Jallah, Judge Willie said "you are hereby informed that the summary proceeding/petition filed by the Government of Liberia/Ministry of Justice to reverse the ruling of the then acting stipendiary Magistrate Ernest Bana is hereby denied and the ruling of the Magistrate is also hereby affirmed and confirmed."

He further said "you are further mandated to resume Jurisdiction of the case and proceed into the disposition of the motion to return property and suppress evidence."

Magistrate Bana initially refused to accept the government argument that he should not hear argument into the request filed by Root FM for the government to return its (Root FM) seized equipment and suppress all of their evidence to be in government possession.

According to government argument, the then General Manager Fidel Saydee was not authorized by Root FM station board to file the motion before the court.

The government also requested the court to urge Root FM to present minute from the board showing evidence that Saydee was mandated by them.

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