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After Years Of Legal Battle: Gov’t May Settle Matilda Parker, Others

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By: Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: The legal argument involving the government of Liberia and former suspended Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Matilda Wokie Parker, has come to an end with a judgment in favor of the suspended NPA boss.
The case started in 2015, during the erstwhile regime of Ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, bordering on allegations of Economic Sabotage, Theft of Property and Criminal Conspiracy.

The indictments, however, were levied by the State, against several other people including Ms. Matilda Parker; suspended comptroller, Christina Kpabar-Paelay; Mr. Denelah M. Flomo, a private businessman.

The case which lasted for years before the first judicial circuit, criminal “C” for Montserrado County was, however, triggered following a state motion to ‘Nolle Prosequi it on November 10, this year.

The said motion, under the signature of Cllr. Wesseh A. Wesseh, Solicitor General of Liberia, backed by a court document in the possession of this paper, contained three counts with a prayer that same is granted and the case be dismissed.
But, in the court’s final judgment released by the resident circuit judge of criminal court ‘C’, A. Blamo Dixon, among other things disagreed, saying that the prosecuting Attorney lacks the authority to dismiss the case.

Judge Dixon added that section 18.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia, states: “that the prosecuting Attorney may, by leave of Court, file a dismissal of an Indictment or Complaint or of a count contained therein as to either all or some of the Defendants. The Prosecution shall thereupon terminate to the extent indicated in the dismissal.”
“The Statue hereinabove quoted is clear and distinct to the extent that it is the prerogative of the Court to decide whether or not the Case should be dismissed with or without prejudice and not the Prosecuting Attorney,” judge Dixon lamented in his final judgment.
The court’s final judgment, however, trashed the plaintiff’s accusation which culminated into the crimes of Economic Sabotage, Theft of Property, Criminal Conspiracy against the suspended NPA Managing Director, Madam Matilda W. Parker and two others.

“Wherefore, and in view of the foregoing and the Law controlling, it is the final judgment of the Criminal Court “C” that Movant’s Motion is hereby granted. The indictment is hereby quashed and the Case dismissed with Prejudice against the State. The Respondents/Defendants are hereby acquitted, discharged, and set free,” the judgment discloses.

The latest decision, according to legal scholars, is a result of the government’s action to drop the charges against Madam Parker and other co-defendants, they stand to benefit from their bonds, salaries and other amenities.

Some legal minds insist that Madam Parker and others were never sacked, and as such, the Government is obligated to settle them in full including salaries and other amenities.

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