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Gloria Scott Striped Off Self-Representation

By Grace Q. Bryant

The Criminal Court ‘A’ Judge, Roosevelt Z. Willie, has granted the Government lawyers’ application to remove the former Chief, Justice Gloria Musu-Scott from sitting in the bar as a lawyer, in the ongoing alleged murder case.

The Judge’s decision was based on an application which was filed by government lawyers, seeking the removal of defendant Scott from the Bar.

Prosecution argued that the defendant Scott is being tried for murder, a crime of capital offense and as a result, she cannot be representing herself as a lawyer, “the court should deny the former chief justice the privilege to represent herself as a lawyer in the ongoing murder trial,” the court ruled.

Judge Willie said a lawyer can represent oneself in a case, irrespective of the trial, but not when there is a legal team representing said lawyer.

“Indeed one can represent oneself, and you represent yourself, but not along with lawyers. Once there is a team of lawyers representing you, you can sit in the gap and make contributions through your lawyers when the need arises; on this note, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott is hereby disallowed to sit in the bar,” Judge Willie ruled.

Criminal procedure Law 2.2.1: Right to representation by legal counsel at every stage of proceedings. It states that “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be represented by legal counsel at every stage of the proceedings, from the time of arrest or, where no arrest has been made, from the initial appearance and submission of the accused to the jurisdiction of the court. This right continues through appeal and post-conviction proceedings, if any.”

When the ruling was handed down by the Judge, the defense team thereby accepted the Judge’s ruling.

However, the visitation of the late Charloe Musu’s crime scene is expected today, September 14, at the hour of 11 am – 2pm.

According to Judge Willie, the visitation of the crime scene will be accompanied with a representative of the prosecution, with a representative from the court and the Liberian National Police as well.

Meanwhile, two of prosecution’s witnesses testified on Wednesday, September 13.

Former Chief Justice, Gloria Musu-Scott, Gertrude Newton, Alice Johnson and Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, were charged with Murder, Criminal Conspiracy, and False Reports to Law Enforcement officials, in violation of Title 26, Chapter 14, Section 14.1, Chapter 10, Section 10.4 and Chapter 12, Section 12.33 of the New Penal Law of the Republic of Liberia.

The Government’s three-count indictment furthered that on February 22, the Defendants, with criminal minds and intent, armed with a sharp instrument believed to be a knife, and pepper spray, willfully, intentionally, purposely, and maliciously inflicted several bodily injuries on the person of Charloe Musu, including her chest, right hand, left thigh, and left armpit, which led to her death, thereby committing the crime of Murder.

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