Press Union of Liberia Wants “Opened and Impartial Inquest” In T-max’s Claims of Assassination Plot

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Monrovia – The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) is calling on authorities at the Ministry of Justice to speedily do an opened and impartial inquest into a “complaint of plot to assassinate” Journalist and talk-show host T-max Jlateh.


Report by Alaskai Moore Johnson, [email protected]


Mr. Jlateh, who is the lead host of Sky FM’s 50-50 morning show on the radio, had written the Union to complain that he and his family have received “dozens of death threats mostly from loyalists of this government and pro-Weah zealots.”

“Mr. Jlateh indicated that ‘a meeting plotting to execute him was held last week Thursday with ex-rebel generals under the supervision of high-ranking Minister in [President George Manneh] Weah’s government,’” the letter dated Friday, April 5, under the signature of the President of PUL, Mr. Charles Coffey, states. 

Mr. Jlateh or T-max as he is affectionately referred to by everyone, too, had written the PUL to complain about the alleged threats on the same Friday. 

When T-max appeared on KMTV, an online television, he disclosed that his informant also told him that he was not the only person who had been allegedly plotted against to be assassinated. He called the names of Henry Costa of Roots FM’s The Costa Show, Rodney Sieh of FrontPageAfrica, Philibert Brown of Hot Pepper and Phillip Wesseh of The Inquirer.    

According to the PUL, T-max had also further stated and disclosed in his letter of complaint to them that another meeting aimed at killing him was held under the leadership of a sitting senator because of his critical views on national subjects. Neither T-max nor the PUL ventured into exposing the name of this “sitting senator.”  

The Press Union further told the Justice Minister: “Mr. Attorney General, T-Max Jlateh in keeping with the above has informed the Press Union of Liberia that he is viciously pursued and tailed on a daily basis since the reported meetings were held.”

The PUL also carbon-copied (cc) its letter to 24 different institutions including the United States of America Embassy, the United Kingdom Embassy, the United Nations Office in Liberia, other religious and civil society organizations.

Liberia Council of Churches

Meanwhile, the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), one of those institutions copied in the PUL’s letter, states that while the LCC acknowledged the complaint as alleged threat, it “expressed serious concerns on this alleged threat, as well as any threat on any live. The LCC, therefore, calls on the Ministry of Justice to launch a speedy investigation into the alleged complaint.” The LCC further insists that outcome(s) of the Justice Ministry’s investigation be made public.

“The level of suspected threats to lives is alarming in Liberia.  The LCC has been receiving formal and informal complaints of alleged death threats and insults from a diverse segment of Liberians including the President of Liberia, Honorable legislators, politicians, member of media and other private citizens. The LCC in the strongest term condemns any act of violence planned against its peaceful citizens and would strongly advise perpetrators to desist from such plan. The LCC says that these uncalled-for behaviors have the propensity to derail the stability of the peace and security of the State,” the LCC further said. 

PUL’s Letter to Justice Minister Dean

The PUL letter to Attorney General Frank Musah Dean, Justice Minister reads thus: 

Cllr. Frank Musa Dean  

Minister

Ministry of Justice  

Sinkor, Monrovia

Liberia

Dear Cllr. Dean:

With the greatest respect, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) brings to your attention a complaint of plot to assassinate the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Sky Communications Incorporated.

In his letter dated Friday, April 5, 2019, Mr. T-Max Jlateh informed the PUL that he and his family have received “dozens of death threats mostly from loyalists of this government and pro-weah zealots”. Mr. Jlateh indicated that “a meeting plotting to execute him was held last week Thursday with ex-rebel generals under the supervision of high-ranking Minister in Weah’s government”.

The popular and critical talk-show host furthered that another meeting aimed at killing him was held under the leadership of a sitting senator because of his critical views on national subjects. 

Mr. Attorney General, T-Max Jlateh in keeping with the above has informed the Press Union of Liberia that he is viciously pursued and tailed on a daily basis since the reported meetings were held. 

In this regard, the Press Union of Liberia, is kindly requesting an opened and impartial inquest in the towering allegations articulated by a respected member of the Journalism community in Liberia. While, we anticipant Police speedy investigation, it is our humble call that the security of Mr. Jlateh be prioritize by state security apparatus and all protections provided him. 

It worries us at the Press Union and all lovers of liberty, when these very grave allegations are coming out at the time when partnerships are being forged at different levels of government to improve the operating environment of the Media in Liberia. 

The conclusive nature of the inquest we are seeking on this reported threat will assure the Journalism Community in Liberia that the government is not targeting some of its members.

See attached, the letter from Mr. T-Max Jlateh as we look forward to hearing from you in the interest of our country.

Sincerely yours,

Charles B Coffey, Jr.

President

[email protected]/[email protected]  

Cc: United States Embassy

       European Union Delegation

        Swedish Embassy

        Embassy of the United Kingdom

        United Nations Peacebuilding Secretariat

        UNDP

         African Union Liaison Office

        Ecowas Delegation

        USAID

        Internews

        Liberia Council of Churches

        Muslim Council of Liberia

        Liberia National Bar Association

        National Civil Society Council of Liberia

       Female Lawyers Association of Liberia

       Liberia National Police

       West African Network for Peacebuilding

       Young Men Christian Association

       Liberia Law Society

       Carter Center

       Institute for Research & Democratic Development

       Center for Media Studies & Peacebuilding

       Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism 

      Center for Transparency & Accountability in Liberia

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