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Seven Ivorians released in Liberia after detention for multiple criminal charges

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Liberia’s Criminal Court “A” on Tuesday, 25 June 2019, released from further detention seven Ivorians who were accused in 2012, by the Ivorian government, of committing crimes in that country.

The Ivorian government accused the seven men of committing the crimes of murder, attempted murder, as well as armed robbery, theft of arms and ammunition, and deliberately destroying the properties of others.

The seven defendants, according to the Ivorian government, fled to Liberia after committing the crimes to escape prosecution.

Komande Mohegman Varney, Nemlin Perik, Anbtiube Djikezon, Guei Martin, Njoule Frank Oliver, Junior (to be identified) and Edward Toure Badison were all released by the court on Tuesday, 25 June 2019.

They were arrested in Liberia in November 2012, following an arrest order issued by the Ivorian government so that they stand trial in their country.

After the arrest order was issued, the defendants were arrested in Liberia and incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison, but the defendants refused to be prosecuted in their country and begged the government of Liberia to prosecute them in Liberia.

A motion was filed by lawyers representing the defendants for the court to dismiss the extradition proceeding in view of the fact that it violates the rights of the defendants and the statute governing the maximum period of detention.

According to the lawyers, the Monrovia City Court ruled in the case for the defendants to be extradited to their country for prosecution.  However, following the ruling from the lower court, the defendants took an appeal to Criminal Court “A”, and they have been in jail from 2012 till present, bringing the number of years the defendants have spent in jail to six.

Judge Roosevelt Willie, however, granted the motion to dismiss and release the defendants from further detention at the Monrovia Central Prison.

Judge Willie granted the motion for dismissal of the extradition proceeding against the defendants who have been languishing behind bar on grounds that Liberia is a signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations with Article 14 calling for speedy trial of individuals.

He also cited Article 21(f) of the Liberian Constitution as well as Section 8.1.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law as basis for dismissal of the extradition proceeding against the defendants

Meanwhile, Judge Willie has turned over the defendants to the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) for third country resettlement.

– APA

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