Chief Justice Korkpor mentioned in his speech at the opening of the October Term of Court on Monday, October 11, 2021, described the story by Journalists Francis Nah and Yemah Sylae against Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie, Resident Circuit Judge of Criminal Court “A”, who is famously known among his colleagues as “the Integrity Judge,” as “malicious and damaging”.
The opening of the October Term of Court was attended by various party litigants, lawyers, judges, the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate Pro-Tempore as well as cross-section of the Liberian media, among others.
According to him, Journalists Nah and Saylee are said to be the Managing Editor or Senior Staff respectively on the KION NEWS-9 Liberia, while Yama Saylee is also said to be an employee of the Independent Probe Newspaper.
But it was gathered that the two journalists are not part of the Judicial Reporters Association assigned at the Temple of Justice who are specialized in court reporting from different media institutions.
The said story was published by Francis Nah on his online platform on August 29, 2021, where he alleged that, “Judge Willie was caught receiving bribe to release several domestic and dangerous terrorist members from the Monrovia Central Prison”.
However, the PUL headed by Mr. Charles B. Coffey, Jr. intervened after Judge Willie categorically denied the allegation and forwarded a complaint to the PUL for investigation.
Mr. Coffey investigated the matter and termed the entire story written by the two journalists as lack of accuracy and was not balanced in line with good journalism.
“That the writer failed to contact Judge Willie to get his side of the story and that all standards required of a journalist were violated or ignored.”
Meanwhile, Francis Nah is said to have written a letter dated September 23, 2021, in which he apologized to Judge Willie.