The second Judicial Circuit Court in
, presided over by Resident Judge Benedict W. Holt, has released twelve (1 2) persons charged with murder in connection with the brutal killing of former plantation manager of the
Liberian Agricultural Company Mr. Bruno Michaels on Criminal Appearance Bond, but the state prosecution
has seriously excepted to the bond, in a six-count resistance.
The state represented by Grand Bassa County Attorney K. Karvin Zogan says the criminal appearance bond in its entirety is fatelly defective, hence the honorable court and His Honor judge Holt should not give credence to said bond. Atty. Zogan said the bond lacks an indication of a, penalty, and that under the law controlling, every criminal appearance bond must contain a penalty as a legal foundation for enforcement of fore closure proceedings and requested the court to take judicial notice of the defendant’s bond.
Atty. Zogan mentioned that the affidavit of sureties lack the proper meats and bounds under the controlling statute to provide the exact locality of the property offered as surety of the bond by showing measurement culling from the deed as the property being located in Gonuigar Town, Lower Harlandsville township not sufficient to provide proper description as required by statute.
“Prosecution requests court to take judicial notice of the statement of property valuation emanated from the Real Estate Tax Division of Grand Bassa County collect orate” Atty. Zogan remarked.
“Besides the defectiveness of the bond, it is void of the names and signatures of eleven(11) of the defendants, who failed to affix their signatures to the bond including Isaac Zantoe, Kalifa Qboto, Luther Glador, Matther Cooper, Samuel Gueh, Richard Gardeae James Charlie, Moses Saymmon, John Tuku, Rufus Quoto which made the bond not binding”, he added.
He noted that the mere indication, “ Arthur Crusoe et-al does not mean that the rest of the defendants who were charged with murder should not file a bail and the verification that they are under bail is by affixing their signatures to the bail granted them by the court.
“The bond filed lacks the certificate from the Second Judicial Circuit Court’s clerk, Henry W. Garsaynee to verify that the property offered is freed from all liens encumbrances. The clerk says the resistance was filed on February 26, 2008 and placed in the case file.
The prosecution finally prayed the court to have the defendants’ criminal appearance bond cancelled annulled, set aside and rearrested and incarcerated in the common jail the said defendants.
It can be recalled that the Eight-Count bail to admit the 12 murder suspects was filed on February 18, 2008 by defense counsels, Attorney Paul Philip Jarvan and Cllr. Powo Hilton.
The defense counsels’ motion came in the wake of what they called contradiction in the testimonies of four of the eleven state witnesses at the Buchanan Magisterial Court, presided at the trial by associate Magistrate Richard Brown, which they said showed that ‘presumption is not greater than evidence’.
The defense counsels argued that their clients should be admitted to bail on section 3.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia pending trail because according to them the state prosecution deliberately failed to produce sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubts.
In his ruling Judge Holt, on Wednesday, February 20, 2008, granted the defense counsels1 motion and subsequently released the 12 murder suspects on the Criminal Appearance bond.
Judge Holt regretted that the pre-trail of the case at the
Buchanan Magisterial Court
could not establish the probable cause, and that keeping the defendants in preventive detention after two terms without being indicted is a violation of their constitutional rights.
Predicated upon this, he placed the defendants under the security of the Chairman of the Resilient Council of E1ders of Grand Bassa County, Rev. Dr. Abba Q. Karnga for appearance in court when they are needed by the court, at the bond fee of USD$489.OO payable to Government’s Revenue.
The Court requested that the evidence produced during the preliminary Investigation should be forwarded to the Grand Jury for conviction of the defendants and subsequent hearing of the case during the May Term of Court, A.D.2008
It can be recalled that the defendants were charged with murder in connection with the brutal killing of the plantation manager of LAC, the late Bruao Michael, a national during a survey of LAC’s extension program near
, in District No. Four in November last year.