Says Solicitor General-designate, Mulbah
Cllr. Daku Mulbah, Liberian Solicitor General-designate on Wednesday, during his confirmation hearing, suggested that the justice system actually needs an urgent overhaul of transparency, fairness, and accountability. His comments come against rising public concerns about widespread and engrained corruption in the country’s Judiciary
Speaking before the Senate Judicial Committee, chaired by Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County, Cllr. Mulbah noted that reform should take into consideration the amendment and repeal of some of the laws and periodic training for judges, court staffs and other justice actors, to ensure an effective and efficient justice delivery system.
Cllr. Mulbah is the lead prosecutor in the Sable Mining bribery case, while Cllr. Sherman is currently one of the defendants.
Recently the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) released a report saying that over 800 inmates held behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison for one or more years are still awaiting trial.
Supporting the bureau’s report, Cllr. Mulbah, the current County Attorney for Montserrado, disclosed that “Since we took over, we have drawn over 800 indictments and what we have come to experience is the delay of the adjudication of cases; and a lot of indictments have been drawn and many of our cases have been dismissed.”
He said it is time to change the dynamics of prosecution, but added that it’s only possible if the law reform and judicial committees amend and repeal some of the laws.
Cllr. Mulbah said he intends to reform and give spirit and meaning to the prosecution of cases if confirmed.
He also promised to give true meaning to the constitution and bring a new form of litigation, adding that there are areas in the law that require keen attention.
“The practice of the law will be upheld and this is our desire. We ask your indulgence to make the difference in the history of our country,” he said.
Regarding the posting of criminal appearance bonds, which most of the inmates in the bureau’s report claimed they did not do, leading to the prolonged detention without trial, Mulbah said, the laws provide that the court and the judges are clothed with the authority to grant bail or bond.
He emphasized that “The interpretation of the law is with the judiciary, and the judge decides which bond to take. It is difficult to decide for them; the laws provide for either of them and we are working with the court and judges to uphold the rights of the citizens.”
The Solicitor General-designate also promised to educate the public on the difference between defendant and prisoner.
“We will ensure that the public, in general, knows that the seat in courts is not called a prisoner seat but defendant or plaintiff seat.”
The Montserrado County Attorney, along with two other officials of the Justice Ministry, the Deputy Minister-designate for codification Cllr. Nyenatee Tuan and Juah Cassell, Deputy Minister-designate for Administration and Public Safety, appeared at Wednesday’s hearing.