The Chief Justice of Liberia, Johnny Lewis has verbally
apologized to Photo Journalist Sando Moore of the independent Daily Observer
newspaper for ordering his security last week to seize Moore’s camera after the
journalist had taken a picture of the Chief Justice.
The Press Union of Liberia
responded by giving the Chief Justice 48 hours to return the equipment or face
the full wrath of the press, including a possible lawsuit. In returning the
camera, Chief Justice Lewis apologized and promised to pay for the camera if
any damage was done to it.
Journalist Moore told VOA there is a broader lesson for all Liberians, especially government officials
like the Chief Justice to learn from.
think we all as Liberians must realize that no man is an island, that no matter
how big you are, you must respect your subordinates, you must respect other
people that work along with you, respect members of the public, even your
houseboy, even your cook, people who are engage in domestic service with you,
you must respect them because without them you cannot achieve what you would
like to achieve in your own house,” he said.
said the Chief Justice’s apology was not just a victory for the Liberian media,
but for all Liberians and the rule of law.
a victory for the Liberian people, and it’s a victory for the new political
dispensation. I’m sure the Chief Justice realizes that Liberia is not the same
like yesterday, and it can never be where you can take advantage of somebody
and try to use your position or power over that person,” Moore said.
said he accepted Chief Justice Lewis’ apology because he believed the Chief
Justice was sincere.
apologized to me, and he asked me whether I accepted his apology and I said yes
based on the fact that he said he was sorry, and he shook my hand. He said whatever
happened to my camera he was willing to pay for it. As a matter of fact we all
make mistakes as human beings, but the power to correct your mistake and the
power to accept that yes I have erred that’s what makes one a great person,”