The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Supreme Court Comm Director Refutes Media Reports …Say Chief Justice Never Removed Judge In CBL Case

The Supreme Court has sharply refuted the Friday, September 27, publication of the New Dawn Newspaper captioned: “Chief Justice Removes Judge on CBL Case.”The paper among many things reported that Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor has removed Criminal Court “C” Judge A. Blamo Dixon as presiding judge in the trial of five Central Bank of Liberia officials indicted for allegedly printing and infusing billions of local currency into the economy without authorization.
The paper allegedly quoted the Chief Justice as saying instead of the assigned Judge Dixon presiding he was assigned at the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Grand Kru County, Southeast Liberia.
But in reaction, Ambrose Mahn, Director of Public Affairs at the Supreme Court, said Judge A. Blamo Dixon was never removed from the case, rather the Judge recused himself from the case for a reason best known to him.
He said the story about the Chief Justice had removed the Judge from a case was untrue. “The Judge informed the Court before the beginning of the August Term of Court that he (Judge Dixon) was going to be assigned to the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Grand Kru County but was later withdrawn and brought here at Criminal Court “C”.
Mahn went further that Dixon and other judges were called back from the circuits in those counties because their living expenses in the rural areas were not yet being settled by the Judiciary.
“It is customary that when judges are sent to the various counties on assignment the Judiciary usually provide cash for their upkeep during their stay at the assigned courts. But because of the financial constraint, the Judiciary never followed the routine,” Mahn stated.
He indicated that the reason for which the Judge decided to recuse himself from the CBL’s case has not reached the office of the Supreme Court in general, and the Chief Justice’s office in particular.
Mahn then took up the matter with the reporter who wrote the story in the New Dawn Newspaper, saying that the reporter should have known better how the court functions.
A judge can recuse himself from a case if the parties feel dissatisfied with him/her presiding or he/she may do so because of conflict of interest and, that is if the judge is acquainted with any of the parties.
With this, Mahn continued: “The judge never said such. And until the reason for the recusing himself from the case before him, one cannot say he was removed.”
In a related development, the Supreme Court has also reacted to the publication of the Nation Time Newspaper Friday, September 27, having forwarded a formal complaint to the Press Union of Liberia calling for an investigation.
Commenting further, Mahn stated that to see the photo of a female lawyer in “casual wear” and that of the Chief Justice in such a place bearing the image of the newspaper, one may think that there is corruption ongoing involving these two persons.

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