Ex-Justice Minister Calls on Govt to Fast Track Reengagement of Dr. Malachi Z.K. York’s case to Save Liberia’s Image

Morris Kaba

Monrovia – Attorney Morris Kaba, a former deputy Minister for economic affairs at the Ministry of Justice, has called on the Liberian government to see reason to fast-track its reengagement of Dr. Malachi Z.K. York’s case in the United States of America so as to save its own image abroad.

Attorney Kaba made the admonishment over the weekend when interviewed by the FrontPageAfrica on what he knows about Dr. York’s case, hence he (Kaba) was with the late Cllr. Francis S. Garlawulo who was York’s main legal person in Liberia.

About what was his role in the case for which Dr. York has already served sixteen years of a 135 year prison sentence, he said it is inexcusable why the Liberian government has not been able to make a clear position claiming ownership of Dr. York hence he is a Liberian citizen.

“The late Cllr. Garlawulo who sometime became my boss then and I, as well as other legal fellows at the Garlawulo Law Firm understood from clear perspectives that the U.S. government has no case against Dr. York and so we were firm indeed by filing in at the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court for a declaratory judgment on the matter. We won it here and preparations were ongoing for us to travel to America to team up with York’s American lawyers for a live appearance before a U.S. court to argue reasons why we believe Dr. York should be freed from imprisonment and subsequently allowed repatriation to Liberia,” Kaba said.

He noted, however, that up to this day he too is yet to know why they did not make the trip to the U.S. to accomplish what the late Cllr. Garlawulo wished to have seen accomplished.

“It is not still over yet, most especially so that Dr. York, although behind bars but is still alive,” he said.

He added that the Liberian government has to resurrect the matter and press for its re-argument in order to justify or nullify the reasons why Dr. York is languishing behind bars.

“One shocking part of this matter is that Liberia had no representation at the trial of York in America, although he was a diplomatic there working for the interest of Liberia,” Kaba who was also a superintendent in his home county Rivercess in the late 1980s said.

He said it is appalling that the U.S. which is said to be a supreme with a much more improved justice system could sentence Dr. York for 135 years. “This is so funny. This sounds cruel to any sound legal mind. Where in this world, including this struggling Liberia has someone been imprisoned for so huge an amount of years? This is so disproportionate to the crime said to have been allegedly committed and contrary to the reality of an advanced country like America who is found of castigating other nations for being barbaric in meting punishments against people,” he said with a sigh of frustration.

“The crime, if even truly committed is not a treason. Therefore, why sentence someone as the U.S. did? This is not fair and I think if Liberia, through its Foreign Affairs Ministry will see reason and engage the U.S. government on the matter it will be worthy,” the former Rivercess Commissioner said.

Kaba who is in his retirement said there is no evidence stating that the U.S. government did not acknowledge the diplomatic status of Dr. York nor his Liberian citizenship.

The FrontPageAfrica has in its possession a court document originating from the District Court of Colorado referring to Dr. York as a Liberian citizen and Consul General of Liberia.

That legal instrument from Colorado Court clearly states in its 2008 Preliminary Pretrial Conference set for the week of August 25, 2008 that Dr. York is still a beneficiary of his diplomatic status accorded him in 1999 by former Liberian President, Charles Ghankay Taylor as well as his right to the Liberian citizenship.

The motion to vacate the preliminary pretrial conference was earlier set by the Court for April 22, 2008 but after an approval of a joint motion introduced and sustained by lawyers representing Dr. York and lawyers representing the U.S. government through the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) later reset it for August 25, 2008.

It may also be recalled that some witnesses who testified against Dr. York have recanted their testimonies, although the U.S. government is yet to take some decisive action, preferably letting the world know as to whether or not, Dr. York still deserves the penalty he is going through now.

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