Court Dismisses State Application to Declare Cummings Hostile Witness as he Discharges from Witness Stand

By G Bennie Bravo Johnson I

The Magistrate of the Monrovia City Court, Jumah Jallah, has denied anddismissed application made by prosecution to declared the Political
leader of the Alternative National Congress, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, a subpoena hostile witness in the ongoing trial of forgery and
criminal conspiracy.

According to magistrate Jallah, in his ruling on Wednesday, February
23, 2020, said that it would be legally wrong and unfair to declare Mr. Cummings as a hostile witness when he has not demonstrated any
disregard and contradictory statement while on the witness stand during the trial.

He said that having listened to the submission made by prosecution and
the resistance by defense lawyers, it’s true that the law provides that
the witness can be considered a hostile witness under setting condition, as provided for under chapter 25.19 of  our Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia, if he demonstrates character and elements that constitute the
witness as being hostile.

‘’This court says defendant Cummings, while on the witness stand has not demonstrated any bias or made contradictory statement to be declared a
hostile witness as he is before this court as a subpoena Deuce Conte witness to produce document as requested by prosecution in it motion, which was granted by this honourable court. Therefore, and in view of the foregoing, the submission made by prosecution to declare subpoena
witness Mr. Cummings a hostile witness is hereby dismiss and denied and hereby so ordered,’’ Magistrate Jallah ruled in the motion.

He stated that section 25.19 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia
provides that the credibility of witness maybe impeach by attacking
his general character, by showing his formation of illegal crimes or by showing that he has contradicted himself earlier  in and out of
court, adding that when there is an attempt to impeach the credibility
of a witness, a formal statement may provide written evidence to show his testimony.

Judge jallah further indicated that except as to a hostile witness, or
otherwise provided by law,the party will not impeach the credibility
of his own witness but thought he may contradict himself at the
testimony and documentary of other witnesses.

However, he said, a party may request to declare his own witness hostile if his
testimony is contrary to his earlier statement, making it
irresponsible, hostile, or show that he is biased against such party.
He noted that if the court grant such request, he may interrogate such
witness as if they had been called as a witness to the other party.

It can be recalled during the February 20, 2022 trial, prosecution prayed for the court to declare cummings hostile on grounds that the witness
had demonstrated bias and has made contradictory statements, been irresponsible and hostile and therefore prosecution requested  that the said witness be interrogated and examine by prosecution as a
hostile witness railing on section  25.19 of the Criminal Procedure
Law of Liberia.

However, to which application council for defendant prayed the court and requested that said motion be denied  and dismissed because their defendant  is not a general witness and moreover, he was call to court to produce document and he has never contradicted himself or show any
biases in his testimony to be declared a hostile witness as requested
by prosecution.

At the same time, defendants Alexander B. Cummings was also removed from the witness stand afte a
a thorough period of
investigation by prosecution.

‘’At this stage, council gives notice to court to
rest with the witness on the stand, reserving the right to recall him
when necessary and review his rebutter witness to the answer provided to the previous question.

‘’The document does not exist and has never

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