Magistrate Barco Defies Judge Dixon?


Following Two Ultimatums To Arrest Cllr. Massaquoi, Defendant Rogers

It seems the manner in which Stipendiary Magistrate Ben Barco and Cllr Morris Massaquoi are handling an alleged US$16,000 theft case is frustrating Hans Armstrong, a British national, who expects justice from the Monrovia City Court. 

There is said to be delay of the case for speedy trial due to the alleged failure of Magistrate Barco to compel Cllr. Massaquoi to produce the living body of Defendant Sylvester Rogers, whom Magistrate Barco released onto Cllr. Massaquoi without posting a criminal appearance bond to face trial.

Barco seems to be adamant in arresting both Massaquoi and Rogers,   after granting him(Rogers) permission, in April of this year, to release the defendant in (Massaquoi) care,  despite the expiration of  the Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge Blamo Dixon’s 72 hours ultimatum  issued on August 8 to Magistrate Barco to ensure that Massaquoi files the bond.

The 72 hours ultimatum given him (Magistrate Barco) by Judge Dixon to produce the bind for Rogers has since expired. 

As it stands, Magistrate Barco appears to also be relaxed to follow up on his adherence and inform Judge Dixon of Massaquoi’s failure to heed to the ultimatum.

After the expiration of Judge Dixon’s ultimatum, Magistrate Barco on August 21 issued his 48 hours ultimatum along with an arrest order for Cllr. Massaquoi and Defendant Rogers for their failure to adhere to an ultimatum set by Judge Dixon to justify the absence of Defendant Rogers and his bond.

However, up to present, and including the publication of the story on this issue, there is no record of the court to show that Massaquoi is in compliance with both Judge Dixon and Magistrate Barco’s separate ultimatums.

Rogers was charged with Theft of Property and Misapplication of entrusted Property when he allegedly duped Armstrong on a planks purchasing transaction.

Despite not filing a criminal appearance bond, Magistrate Barco released him to Cllr. Massaquoi in April 2023.

Barco has allegedly served a Writ of Ne Exeat Republica on Rogers  which banned him from leaving the country, but it is not clear whether the writ has been served because the victim has already paid for the services.

However, the whereabouts of Rogers, who is a citizen of Norway, is unknown. 

When contacted, one of the prosecuting attorneys acknowledged the delay of the case and vowed  to file a bill of information for the court to act before Judge Dixon.

It can be recalled that the same city court claimed that it was investigating a complaint that some court officers and a lawyer produced a bond with forged signatures to have Defendant Rogers released on bail. 

The bond, which Stipendiary Magistrate  Barco accepted, led to the release of Defendant  Roger.  The embarrassing situation has pushed Barco to probe Roger’s lawyer, Cllr. Massaquoi, whose name and telephone number appeared on the alleged fake criminal appearance bond.

The Court released Roger apparently without carefully reviewing the document to establish the discrepancies on it. 

Up to present, that investigation is said to  still be pending. 

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