Written By: David Menjor
Read original article: LIBERIAN OBSERVER
The Malachi York Foundation has appealed to the Liberian government to reengage the U.S. Judicial system in the Middle District of Georgia to release its founder and chief executive officer, Dr. Malachi Z. York.
Saqar Ahhah and Den Tut Rayay, both from the Foundation based in Georgia, are in Liberia seeking government’s intervention to release Dr. York from prison in the U.S. and subsequently have him repatriated to Liberia, because he is a Liberian by naturalization and has served as Liberia’s Consul General in Georgia, United States.
Dr. York, now 72, was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 135 years by a court in Georgia on allegations of racketeering, money laundering and transporting minors in interstate commerce for purposes of engaging in unlawful sexual activity.
York came to Liberia in the late 1990s and took on Liberian citizenship by naturalization and was appointed as a Consul General and diplomat by former President Charles Taylor.
The Foundation is, therefore, worried that Dr. York might perish behind bars if the Liberian government does not intervene to free him before it gets too late.
Charles A. Minor, former Liberian Ambassador to the U.S., recently told the Daily Observer that “as far as diplomacy is concerned, there is still a need for the Liberian government to revisit the York case.”
Minor wished he had sufficient information and the necessary backing from the backdrop of truth surrounding the case, while he was serving as a diplomat to help further pursue the York case.
“In keeping with the embassy’s policy of consulting the Liberian Foreign Ministry, we asked for any information on Dr. York as it was indicated that he had been serving as Honorary Consul of Liberia. Our action came following Dr. York’s family’s, including his wife’s, visit to our Washington office in 2005, and 2006, during which they requested assistance from the embassy to get Dr. York released from prison somewhere in the United States,” Amb. Minor said in his note.
“Information received from Liberia indicated that Dr. York, a Consul of Liberia based in Georgia, was also a naturalized Liberian citizen. We later received from the Ministry an official request, originating from the Ministry’s Legal Consul in person of (then) Jenkins Scott, informing the embassy that he and a lawyer for Dr. York would be coming to the United States and that the embassy should cooperate and assist, not only to release him, but repatriate him to Liberia,” Amb. Minor said.
He added, however, that the team which should have been headed by Cllr. Jenkins Scott (now deceased) to the U.S. never showed up and that derailed efforts to engage the State Department on York’s case.
However, he noted that he took few officials from the Liberian diplomatic mission in the U.S. to the State Department and made inquiries into Dr. York’s case; but the response he received complicated attempts to go on with a request to assist his release.
At some point, Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, current Chairman of Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC), also tried to intervene in Dr. York’s behalf, but his effort did not yield any fruitful result up to date.
“I wrote a letter to the U.S. Embassy here in Liberia and cited all the relevant information I have gathered on the case, while making request on behalf of my client to the Liberian government to revisit the case,” Korkoya said.
Ahhah and Rayay are convinced that Dr. York has met the necessary measures by U.S. law and it is time for international protocols and conventions to appeal to the U.S. government to release him.
It may be recalled that a decision by the Montserrado County 6th Circuit Judicial Court on July 21, 2004, established that Dr. Malachi York was a diplomat that represented Liberia in the U.S.
The mandate, which established that the order handed down by former 6th Judicial Circuit Court Judge D. Yusuff Kaba (Now serving as a judge in ECOWAS), states: “As regards the issue of diplomatic immunity, the record in this case established the fact that Petitioner, Dr. Malachi Z. York, was duly appointed by the Government of Liberia as a Consular on December 15, 1999.”
Records in the possession of the Daily Observer show that former President Charles Taylor, in his letter of appointment to Dr. York, said, “I am pleased to appoint you hereby as Consul General of the Republic of Liberia to Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.”