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Jun 29, 2009

No appeal case made against former PM

Story PictureWhen the committal of the former Prime Minister Said Musa on the charge of theft was quashed on June eighth by the Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Branker Taitt gave immediate notice that she would appeal the CJ’s decision. The twenty one days in which the DPP could appeal have elapsed and when we checked this afternoon, a notice of the appeal had not been filed. On further investigation, News Five learnt that in fact the appeal could not be lodged. And that is because the DPP does not have a right of appeal in these circumstances. Lawyers inform News Five that in criminal cases, including judicial reviews of committals by magistrates, if the DPP loses that is the end of the matter and she has no right of appeal. Only accused persons have a right of appeal if they lose. So had the Chief Justice ruled against Musa he could have appealed to the Court of Appeal. In February, Magistrate Earl Jones committed Musa to stand trial for the theft of ten million of a total sum of twenty million dollars granted by the Government of Venezuela. A judicial review of this decision, however, freed Musa of the theft charge but criticized the former Prime Minister for keeping people in the dark about use of the money. News Five called the DPP this afternoon, but was told she is unavailable for the entire day.

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