By: Frank P. Martin
MONROVIA: Barely hours after request by Defense Lawyers in the Charloe Musu murder case to subpoena Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee, the wife of Varlee Telleh, Moses Wright, one of the securities assigned at the home of Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, and one Mohammed Keita as well as Orange GSM Company was denied by Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Willie, the Defense Lawyers have issued a writ of certiorari before the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia.
In Law, a Writ of Certiorari is a court process to seek judicial review of a decision of a lower court or government agency.
The defense lawyers who petitioned the Supreme Court include Cllr. Jimmy Saah Bomba , Cllr. Finley Y. Karngar, Cllr. Gidu Johnson-Savice, Cllr./ Dr. S. Mohammed Sheriff, Cllr. Augustine Fayiaha and Cllr. Frances Johnson Allison.
In their petition, the defense lawyers invoked the Civil Procedure Law, Section 16.21.1 which provides that “certiorari is a special proceeding to review and correct decisions of officials, boards, or agencies acting in a judicial capacity, or to review an intermediate order or interlocutory judgment of a court”.
Petitioners say, Civil Procedure Law, Section 13.4 provides that “where the person to be examined is not a party or a person who at the time of taking the deposition is an officer, director, member, or employee of a party, he shall be served with a subpoena. Unless the court orders otherwise, such subpoem must be served at least ten days before the examination. Proof of service of a notice to take a deposition as provided in section 13.3 (3) or (4) constitutes a sufficient authorization for issuance by the clerk of the court of a subpoem for the person named or described therein and for production by them of designated books, papers, and portable things as authorized in section 13.5.”
According to the writ, a staff the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), Varlee Telleh was subpoenaed to testify to numbers submitted by him to the Liberia National Police (LNP) during the criminal investigation regarding the murder of Charloe Musu.
While on the witness stand, the witness testified that the mobile number (0778371222) is being used by him, and the mobile number (0776632470) is registered in his name, but managed or is used by his wife.
The Petitioners say, based upon witness Telleh’s testimony that the mobile number is being used by his wife, petioners prayed court to have the wife of witness Telleh subpoenaed to testify to the mentioned number, and particularly to a call made to cell number 112001407 between the period February 20, 2023 to February 24, 2023 and relationship between Mrs. Telleh and the person to whom the calls were made.
The Defense Lawyers also subpoenaed Moses Wright, one of the assigned securities at the home of Co-Defendant, Cllr. Gloria Scott, on the night of February 22, 2023, the night Charloe Musu was murdered at the home of Cllr Scott to appear and testify as a subpoena witness.
Petitioners request is predicated upon the call log submitted to the Court by prosecution which shows that the number called by the number which Telleh said is being used by his wife, Mrs. Telleh, also had calls and interactions with Moses Wright on February 21, 2023, the eve of the day Charloe Musu was murdered on the Compound of Cllr Musu Scott.
Petitioners say, the Orange GSM company was also subpoenaed to produce the call logs of Moses Wright and the Wife of Varlee Telleh who is believed to be the owner of mobile number from the period February 20, 2023 to February 23, 2023. The Court also denied the application of petitioners and say that the subpoena is not specific.
Petitioners say subpoenas were prayed for to be issued on Mayor Jefferson Tamba Koijee to testify in these proceedings. Petitioners also prayed for a subpoena dues tecum to be issued for the mobile numbers owned by Mayor Koijee and Petitioner’s content that denials of the subpoenas requested for by His Honor Roosevelt Z. Willie deprive Petitioners of the opportunity to adequate representation, and the right to proffer evidence on their behalf.
Petitioners say a petition for a Writ of Certiorari will lie to review and correct the error made by the respondents herein.
“Wherefore and view of the foregoing feels and circumstances, petitioners pray your honor and this honorable Court for the issuance the Writ of Certiorari directing the respondents to grant the application to have named individuals subpoena to testify, and the mentioned call logs be subpoenaed. Further, petitioners also pray your Honor and this Honorable court to grant all that seem just, equitable and legal”, according to the writ.
On Wednesday, December 6, the Defense Team, in its submission requested the court or Subpoena the wife of Varlee Telleh to testify to the number, indicated in the document as her official number being registered in the name of Varlee Telleh as well as testifying to a call made to an unidentified number which her number made a called to on February 21, 2023, in which that same unidentified number made a call to one of the securities assigned at the home of Cllr. Scott, Moses Wright on February 22, 2023.
The defense said they intend to know the relationship between Koijee and Keita, since, they believed Keita was linked to the incident that unfolded that night and why he was in communication with Koijee during the same night.
However, the prosecution resisted to the defense application, noting that the submissions were intended to delay the case, since the defendant did not reference those named, in their previous testimonies and their connections to the case.
As for Koijee, they said he was invited to the Liberia National Police on the matter, and in the presence of defense lawyers, Koijee was exonerated.
However, the court having listened to the defense application and prosecution resistance, noted that the application was made after a subpoena witness Varlee Telleh had testified, and the application is not specific, neither does it present any evidence for which those individuals should be subpoena.
Judge Willie made specific reference to defense not providing documentary or witness testimony that indicated that Mohammed Keita was part of the incident.
As for the wife of Telleh, the court noted that Varlee Telleh’s wife communicating with someone and Moses Wrigt communicating with the same person is not a specific application, since the defense has not presented physical and documentary evidence proving that.
“As this court has continuously said, the defense counsel has the numbers testified to and even has Mayor Koijee’s number. To have physical evidence to subpoena the GSM Companies to provide those numbers and to allow them to come here without evidence is intending to allow these individuals to testify against themselves, for which the court has rejected said requests,” Judge Willie emphasized.
The requests through the defense application were rejected following the appearance of subpoena witness Varlee Telleh at open court on Wednesday, December 6.
Varlee Telleh, the man who was at the center of controversy initially, but later exonerated by the Liberia National Police, in his testimony to the court noted, that he never communicated to the “Genesis Security Officer” assigned at Cllr. Scott’s Compound on his official orange number.
He further noted that the number registered in his name, but used by his wife is still in use and active as well as all other telephone numbers related to him.
Telleh following his testimony on Wednesday, December 6, was discharged by the court.