Liberia: Gov’t Declares Henry Costa a Fugitive

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According to the Deputy Minister of Information, Eugene Fahngon, even though Mr. Costa wasn’t arrested and wasn’t aware of any charges that the government might have leveled against him, he had no rights to “runaway”

Monrovia – The Government of Liberia says the Chairman of the Council of Patriots (COP), Henry Costa is now a fugitive.

The announcement was made by Deputy Spokesperson on Thursday at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism regular press briefing.

Deputy Minister of Information, Eugene Fahngon said even though Mr. Costa wasn’t arrested and wasn’t aware of any charges that the government might have leveled against him, he had no rights to “runaway”.

“Wait for the completion of the investigation and then you will see whether you will be charged or not but to run in the middle of the investigation and say I was never charged…he was never charged because the investigation was not completed,” said Fahngon.

Speaking on the issue of Mr. Costa’s lawyer failure to bring him to Liberia as he guaranteed, Minister Fahngon said that the Solicitor General of Liberia will deal with that particular issue of bringing the lawyer to book.

“His lawyer signed a guarantee note to present him to Immigration authority that was conducting an ongoing investigation. I’m not a lawyer, I’m a government spokesman and I don’t know what the law says when you sign for someone and don’t bring them back and you let them go because you are an attorney and a lawyer,” stated the Minister.

Deputy Minister of Information, Eugene Fahngon said even though Mr. Costa wasn’t arrested and wasn’t aware of any charges that the government might have leveled against him, he had no rights to “runaway”.

When asked by Journalists about Mr. Costa’s whereabouts, the Deputy Information boss said the government does not know where he is but the question should rather be directed to his lawyer.

“We don’t know but what we do know is that he is a fugitive and the best person to ask would be his attorney who signed for him, but his attorney on radio this morning said he doesn’t know either and he heard that Costa was in Sierra Leone and I called him to the radio to give me a reason why he shouldn’t be arrested in that studio,” said Fahngon.

Talk Show host Costa reportedly departed Freetown Sierra Leone via Royal Air Maroc early Thursday morning, despite a late official request Wednesday by the George Weah-led government to have him extradited to Liberia.

Civil and Human Rights activists in Sierra Leone confirmed to FrontPageAfrica Thursday that Mr. Costa was allowed to leave without further provocation of his right under the international human rights convention, which forbids countries from sending anyone to a country where he thinks his life would be in imminent danger.

The convention protocol relating to refugees under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees subscribes to the core principle of international refugee law, which provides that no one shall expel or return against his or her will, in any manner whatsoever, to a territory where he or she fears threats to life or freedom. The Convention is both a status and rights-based instrument and is underpinned by a number of fundamental principles, most notably non-discrimination, non-penalization and non-refoulement.

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