Monrovia-Former National Investment Commission Executive Director, George Wisner has welcomed the latest decision from Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice to trash criminal indictment against him and others.
“Today, the Judge of Criminal Court “C” dismissed the Government of Liberia’s indictment against me and asked that all my rights and privileges as a patriotic citizen of Liberia be restored.
We welcome the ruling as the first major step towards justice.
You will recall that since the indictment over a year ago, that coincided with the announcement of our bid for the Unity Party Chairmanship, we have always maintained our innocence and had suspected ulterior motives dressed in politics.
Today’s ruling is the first step towards vindication,” Wisner said in communication, following the ruling.
Wisner and 13 others, including Senate Secretary, Naborlor single were indicted on allegations of Economic Sabotage, theft of property, forgery, and criminal conspiracy, in a case filed by the Republic of Liberia by and through Hans Armstrong as respondents.
But on Monday, September 6, Criminal Court “C” Judge Ousman Feika dismissed the case based on a motion filed by a lawyer representing one of the respondents, representing the Afriland Bank, Cllr. Daku Mulbah that Armstrong is still a defendant in a case in Nimba and cannot file another lawsuit in a similar case when he has not yet face his indictment.
“The Clerk of this Court is hereby ordered to prepare a release in favor of all defendants in these proceedings, thereby restoring their rights as guaranteed under the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, and it is hereby so ordered,” Cllr. Ousman F. Feika, Circuit Court Judge Presiding said in his ruling.
Mr. Armstrong, based on the court record, is indicted at the 8th Judicial Circuit Court of Nimba County for the crimes of Theft of Property and Forgery, while the defendants on the other hand are indicted for the commission of the crimes of Economic Sabotage, Theft of Property, Forgery and Criminal Conspiracy.
According to the court, based on the fact that the defendants in these proceedings are the private prosecutors in the indictment against Armstrong in the criminal case against him at the 8th Judicial Circuit Court for Nimba County and the law in said jurisdiction provides that a cause of action be dismissed, if there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause in the court in Liberia.
As such, the court said it sustains the resistance of the defendant’s counsel, as well as the application for the dismissal of the case associated therewith, that crimes contained in the indictment drawn against the defendants are the same as the one against Mr. Armstrong in the 8th Judicial Circuit Court of Nimba County.
“This court, therefore, holds the rationale that to proceed with this trial would be tantamount to undermining the ends of justice and a complete disregard of the statute, hence a violation of same.”
Following the ruling Wisner noted that there is always an unequal power relationship between the Government, as an institution of the state, and individual citizens of the State, as such, the ruling was the first step towards justice in Liberia.
While maintaining, his innocence, he said they have suspected ulterior political motives in the case.
He lauded his legal team for the efforts in pushing the matter to its end, stating that he will sit with them to know the next course of action.
“This is why, in matters of prosecution, especially as it relates to criminal indictments that have the propensity to seize liberties, the State ought to be circumspect, meticulous and proceed without bias, malice, or discrimination,” Wisner stressed.
“In the coming days, we will sit with our lawyers to fully understand with all these means. For now, we just want to celebrate this monumental step towards justice. We wish to thank the Almighty God, who is the final arbiter of justice for the strength and courage he has given us throughout this very difficult period.”
Wisner then recounted how the dismissal of the case on Monday, September 6, marks exactly one year since his residence gutted fire and was partially destroyed, which he said has created mental anguish of being falsely accused by the government.
He lamented that the court ruling coming on the act the same day of the first anniversary of such calamity, marks of divine providence and a confirmation of God’s faithfulness towards him.