MONROVIA, Montserrado – Judge Roosevelt Willie of Criminal Court A has denied the government’s motion to hold Rep. Yekeh Kolubah of Montserrado’s 10th district in contempt for allegedly traveling Ghana to solicit funds for a planned Dec. 30 protest in Monrovia by the Council of Patriots.
The judge ruled to deny the government’s motion was on grounds that it was not the matter before the court.
“While we do not deny or admit the allegation of the press conference of Honorable Kolubah stating [a] serious of wild discussion as stated by prosecution, this court says those discussions or allegations are not before this court and [it] cannot delve into it,” Willie said.
“Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, the motion from prosecution is hereby denied and dismissed.”
Government lawyers moved that Rep. Kolubah had asked the court to travel out of the country to seek medical attention in Ghana, but instead was seen on the media with African leaders seeking support for the December 30 protest. Such action, the prosecution insisted, was tantamount to deceiving the court, and therefore warranted the charge of contempt.
In response, defense lawyers informed the court that Kolubah’s request for medical leave was consistent with the court’s orders. Furthermore, they argued that the lawmaker, upon his return home, has presented all relevant medical records to the court, contrary to the government’s allegation.
The court had already subpoenaed and heard testimonies from Dr. Hallen Araran, a medical physician with over 30 years of medical experience, attesting to Kolubah’s need for medical attention outside Liberia, which the court granted.
On June 5, Rep. Kolubah was arrested and brought before the court on charges of ordering his bodyguards to mercilessly beat a resident of his district who had refused to accept a leaflet and t-shirt for the June 7 ‘Save the State’ protest.
Rep. Kolubah and five others were indicted on June 18 for multiple crimes by the Grand Jury of Montserrado, including charges of aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal conspiracy, as well as the kidnapping and beating of suspect Emmanuel Freeman, who the defendants claimed to be a thief in the Old Road Community.
Freeman was rushed to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia as a result of the alleged flogging by Kolubah and his co-defendants. The defendants were released on June 18 on bail.
Kolubah remains a highly controversial figure in the House of Representatives, and a fierce critic of President George Weah. He is among many opposition lawmakers supporting and organizing the upcoming Dec. 30 mass protest calling upon President Weah to resign.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah