Liberia: Montserrado As Grand Jury Indicts CDC-COP Gangs With First, Second Degrees Felony
MONROVIA – Criminal Court “A” has issued a Writ of Arrest for seven members of the Coalition For Democratic Change-Council of Patriots, following an indictment brought against them by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County for a first and two-second degrees felony.
Defendant Ben Believe Togbah, Abdurahman Barry, Aaron K. Cheap, Today Massaquoi, Joshua Saye Karr, Pokar S. Roberts, Kendrick C. Pelenah and others to be identified as Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder, Felony of the Second Degree, Aggravated Assault, Felony of Second Degree and Criminal Conspiracy, Felony of the First Degree.
They have been arrested and served with the writ of arrest and the indictments by the Sheriff of Criminal Court “A” that has jurisdiction over Attempted Murder and Aggravated Assault.
They are now before the Sheriff of Criminal Court “A”.
According to the indictment, the CDC-COP members on July 26, purposely, willfully, knowingly, wickedly, intentionally, criminally, and violently emerged within the same vicinity to provide a counter-protest under their banner “Thanking the President for the same level of work,” knowing fully that members of the Campus-based Student’s Unification Party had earlier gathered the same day to present a petition to the US Government, for President George Weah to Fix The Country.”
The three counts, further noted that the defendants, directly and indirectly, planned and executed their action based on countering SUP peaceful assembly held within the same vicinity.
The document noted that the defendants chased members of SUP into the community, who were escaping them, after they (CDC-COP Members) began throwing stones at the petitioners, later capturing one of them in the person of Christopher Water Susulu Sivvili, stripping him naked and as well torturing him to bleed profusely from his mouth and nose.
It further maintained, that the defendants have no affirmative defense and acted in concert when they conspired to carry out the criminal act.
“That Criminal Attempt is an offense of the same class as the offense attempted, except that an attempt commits the felony of the first degree, shall be a felony of the second degree,” the indictment stated.
According to the counts, Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Criminal Conspiracy, the act of the Defendants is contrary to 4LCLR, Title 26, Section 10.1(1)(4), 4LCLR, Title 26, Section 2.2(b) and 4LCLR, Title 26, Section 1.7(p) of the Penal Law of Liberia and against the peace and dignity of Liberia.
However, Defense Lawyer, Cllr. Arthur Johnson wrote a promissory note to Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Willie, which represents a Human Surety Bond to prevent the Criminal Defendants from being imprisoned at the Monrovia Central Prison or “South Beach.”
He told the Judge in his Promissory note that he will return the defendants at any time, requested by the court for prosecution.
The promissory note was filed, because the indictment and subsequent Writ of Arrest were based on separate offenses, including Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder and Aggravated Assault which are not triable before the Magisterial Court of Judge Jomah Jallah.
Monday’s indictment by the Grand Jury means that the Magisterial Court or the Monrovia City Court is further prohibited to hear the preliminary examination that was ongoing before it.
However, Defense Lawyer Cllr. Arthur Johnson has announced to the Monrovia City Court that he was taking a remedial process to the Supreme Court that the government for an indictment was improper.
Cllr. Johnson noted in his argument that the case was assigned for 11 am and the defendants were in court, but unfortunately for the defendants, the government, being aware of the court proceeding, with Statue Section: 12.2 of Chapter 2 of the Criminal Procedure Law, Caption “Preliminary Examination,” has Proceeded to the Grand Jury at Court “A” 5o obtain an indictment.
He further noted that the indictment, having been served to the defendants, is an attempt to evict the Monrovia City Court out of the Preliminary Examination.
Cllr. Johnson maintained that the government action was is a clear violation of the defendant’s statutory right to preliminary investigation hence, Cllr. Johnson announced in open Court a remedial process, to the Supreme Court to correct the action of the government.
He termed government action as deliberate to undermine the authority of the court.
However, our Judicial reporter noted that State Prosecutor, boycotted Monday, August 15, proceeding at the Monrovia City Court, after Cllr. Wesseh A. Wesseh had previously appealed for continuance on Monday.
Cllr. Wesseh had nevertheless hinted to Judicial Reporters that the case was assigned for 11 am, but Magistrate Jallah failed to begin the case at the precise time.
Cllr. Wesseh noted that he cannot allow himself to be controlled by Defense Lawyer, Cllr. Arthur Johnson in the ongoing proceeding.
Meanwhile, following the boycotting of the case by State Prosecutors, Cllr. Johnson prevailed on Judge Jallah to proceed with the case, and that the record should show that State Prosecutor abandoned the case ok Monday.