By Comfort M. Johnson
MONROVIA Oct. 29 (LINA) – Magistrate Ernest Bana will on November 4 rule in the motion to return property and suppress evidence filed by Root Holding Incorporated (Root FM 102.7) represented by General Manager/Station Manager Fidel Saydee.
Movant says the criminal procedure law provides the grounds for return of seized property by the government of Liberia to include insufficiency of warrant: or property seized is not described in the warrant.
They further said in their motion that there is no purported legal ground set forth in the application to warrant the seizure, adding that there is no probable cause for believing the existence of the ground on which the warrant was issued.
The Root FM said from all indications the search and seizure warrant was issued in violation of the law, noting that the radio station was issued a permit by the Ministry of Information on June 26, 2018 to broadcast via FM radio station on frequency 102.7 based on the request made by through its general manager Henry P. Costa and the general manager of the Sancos Media Group Inc.
But prosecution lawyers stated that the motion filed by Root Holding INC should be denied on grounds that the property seized was from Room FM 102.7 and not Root Holding, so why will they file a motion to return property to them, when in fact the Court did not seize property from then, rather Root FM 102.7.
Prosecution lawyers argue that the application made by defense lawyers should be denied, because Root Holding Inc. are not the real owners of said property, instead it is Root FM 102.7, asking what if the court grants the defense application and give them the property, and the real owner, which is Root FM 102.7 comes later, then what will happen.
Defense lawyers asked the court to grant movant motion filed to return property.
Following legal arguments between both parties, Magistrate Bana said the final ruling in said motion to return property will be delivered on Monday, November 4.
It can be re-called that on Thursday, October 10, the Monrovia City Court issued a search and seizure warrant against Root FM 102.7 for operating without a valid license, as well as illegally using its broadcast equipment to tarnish the good character of the government and its officials.
Upon issuance of the search and seizure warrant , heavily armed officers of the Liberia National Police moved on the premises of Roots FM 102.7, to effect the closure of the radio station.