Liberia: Nimba Senatorial Aspirant Calls For Independent Prosecutors in CDC-COP Trial￼
MONROVIA – Following the arrest of several CDC-COP executives for their alleged involvement into the July 26 – Independence Day Violence, a senatorial aspirant of Nimba County, Nya D. Twayen has called for private or independent prosecutors instead of state prosecution.
On Monday, seven officials of the CDC-COP were arrested by the Liberia National Police (LNP) for allegedly masterminding the violence which led to the injury of several students of the University of Liberia including Christopher Walter Sisulu Sivili.
The CDC-COP officials include Abdurahman Barry Kendrick S. Pelenah, Joshua S. Karr, Pukar Roberts, Ben B. Toga, Foday N. Massaquoi, and Aaron K. Chea.
Following a public outcry, and almost a week after the incident, President George Weah broke silence, condemned the violence and called for an investigation to bring perpetrators to justice.
The police finally came out and arrested seven executives and charged them with the commission of several crimes including attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, theft of property and rioting. These alleged culprits had been invited by the police earlier for questioning.
Speaking to FrontPage Africa, Mr. Twayen commended the police for arresting the CDC-COP leaders but cautioned against the use of public prosecutors in the trial.
“We also applaud the arrest of the individuals allegedly involved and charged appropriately. However, I’m calling on the government of Liberia to not use government prosecutors for this case because many of the alleged perpetrators have colorful and political relationships with the ruling establishment and may lead to compromise,” he said.
“They are on type claiming to be acting for the protection of the ruling party and its government, and as such the government is a compromised party even if unbeknownst. A private or independent prosecutor is what we need for a transparent trial,” he added.
Speaking further, he condemned the vicious act allegedly perpetrated by the CDC-COP against the students of the University of Liberia; warning that the wave of violence by party fueled militants is unacceptable.
SUP Backs Call
Meanwhile, the Student Unification Party (SUP) whose members were brutally injured has backed the call for independent prosecutions “to ensure justice is dispensed.”
The spokesperson of SUP, Mohammed Jalloh said the party government and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change are the real mastermind of the violence, and as such they cannot serve as prosecutors.
Jalloh called on the Independent National Human Rights Commission to take charge of the investigation to properly document the incident for posterity and to ensure justice is served.
He questioned why it took so long for the police to act when the evidence was glaring and the alleged perpetrators were boasting by holding press conferences to justify their action.
He said how come they are being charged with attempted murder, yet are released on bill and walking free.
“It is our position that an independent institution handles the case. And we are hoping that the Independent National Human Rights Commission, INCHR can take charge into this.
He revealed that SUP will assemble today Friday, on the University of Liberia’s Capitol Hi campus for a peaceful march in demand of justice for Sivili and all those caught up in violence