By: Frank P. Martin
MONROVIA: The Judge in Chamber of Criminal Court “A”, at the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, Roosevelt Willie, on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, ruled on a motion in favor of State Lawyers in the ongoing murder trial involving Gloria Musu Scott, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, and three of her family members.
Gloria Scott, along with Gertrude Newton, Rebecca Wisner, and Alice Johnson were charged and detained for Murder, Raising False Alarm and Criminal Conspiracy relative to the gruesome killing of Charloe Musu, daughter of the former Chief Justice in their Brewerville residence, outside Monrovia.
The accused former Chief Justice has expressed her desire to help in defending or representing herself in the ongoing murder trial.
However, Lawyers representing the Government of Liberia argued that the accused, Musu Scott, is being tried for Murder, a Capital Offense, and as such, she cannot represent herself as a Lawyer in court.
Since her indictment by the Liberian government, Musu Scott has been seen in Court Chamber along with her legal team in her defense.
The state prosecutors told the Court that denying the accused, Musu Scott, the right to practice in this matter would be the best decision by the court.
Following an intense legal debate between the plaintiff and prosecution, Judge Willie ruled in favor of the motion filed by prosecution which prayed the Court to deny Cllr. Musu Scott from representing herself as a lawyer in the case.
Giving his ruling, Judge Willie pointed out in court that a lawyer accused of committing an offense can represent himself/herself in a case irrespective of the trial, but not when there is a legal team, representing said accused lawyer.
“Indeed, one can represent oneself, and it is called Pro Se Litigants, you represent yourself, but not along with lawyers,” he pointed out.
Litigants or parties representing themselves in court without the assistance of an attorney are known as “Pro Se Litigants,” the Court said.
Judge Willie also clarified that once there is a team of lawyers representing a Defendant, he/she can sit in the bar and make contributions through his/her lawyers when the need arises.
“On this note, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott is hereby disallowed to sit in the bar,” Judge Willie ruled.
When the ruling was handed down by Judge Willie, the Defense Counsel took an exception to the judge ruling.