Cllr. Scott Scrapped Of Lawyer’s Immunity By: Yassah J. Wright

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What appears to be further dishonor against former Chief Justice Gloria Musu-Scott, took place at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia when Judge Roosevelt Willie of Criminal Court “A” openly removed the former Chief Justice sitting in the Bar among her colleagues (lawyers) and ordered that she sit on the prisoner’s bench with her family members who alongside her are jointly facing trial for murder and other offenses.

Although the trial has lasted for more than two months, Cllr. Scott has been sitting amongst lawyers mainly from the defense team, some of whom include former Associate Justice Kibaneh Ja’net, Atty. Williams, President of the Female Lawyer Association, Cllr. Madina Wesseh and Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi, among others.

Cllr. Scott, during her time of sitting at the Bar with her colleague lawyers could be seen comfortably seated writing on papers and whispering in their ears. At some point in time, she even argued in open court as a lawyer during a pre-trial motion to admit her to bail.

This situation caught the attention of state prosecutors who immediately filed an application with the court seeking the removal of defendant Scott from the Bar where both the prosecution and the defense teams were seated to argue the case.

State prosecutors arguing before court cited Article 21 (i) of the 1986 Constitution and Rule 4 of the Code of Professional Ethics.

According to the State, defendant Scott should not be allowed to enjoy an immunity to sit in the Lawyer’s Bar as an accused in a case that carries the highest penalty.

The State said all person charged with a crime, when he/she is brought to Court from Monrovia Central Prison; there is no law that grants such person a dispensation to sit in the Lawyer’s Bar.

“To allow Cllr. Scott to sit on the Bar among lawyers is equally granting her the privilege and permission to cross-examine prosecution’s witnesses when she herself needs to be cross-examined,” the prosecution noted.

The State added: “People come to court to observe the case and wondered why the defendant (Scott) is not sitting on the prisoner’s bench among the other defendants but instead sitting among lawyers.”

According to the State, Cllr. Scott is adequately represented by lawyers. Is she coming to court as a lawyer or defendant? This court must address the issue.”

In counter arguing the state’s application, defense lawyer said under the law, practice and procedures, there is no law and Rule of Court that stops the defendant from providing defenses for herself.

But Judge Willie said that she (Scott) cannot have lawyer representing her and decided again to sit on the lawyer bench to represent herself. All she can do is to sit in the docket as a criminal defendant and if she has any contribution, she can do same through her lawyers.

Judge Willie: “Under such condition, Cllr. Scott is hereby disallowed from sitting in the Bar as a lawyer and same is hereby ordered.” 

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