Liberia: “Big Hands” in Government Blocking Bond for Students, Others Detained for Rioting

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Monrovia – One of the legal counsels of the 21 detained alleged rioters has alarmed that he is finding it difficult to secure an insurance bond for his clients from several insurance companies contacted “due to a threat from government’s circles” to the companies not to guarantee surety for them.

Cllr. Finley Karngar was not particular about which government official is blocking his chances of securing a bond, but insisted that there was a “big hand in government” involved.

“We have approached several insurance companies to secure bond for our clients but all of the insurance companies contacted so far have refused our offer because they have been influenced by a big hand in government,” said Karngar when he spoke to a group of Judicial reporters on Monday at the Temple of Justice.

Cllr. Karngar said he has now resolved to seek property bond to secure his clients’ release.

He also told reporters that the 21 alleged rioters will be appearing at the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice on Tuesday, at 9:00 am for trial on various charges leveled by the police.

It is not clear whether Montserrado County District#10 Lawmaker, Yekeh Kolubah, who was also charged for alleged terroristic threat by the police following the arrest of the alleged rioters will be appearing in court on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, to stand trial.

Cllr. Karngar also revealed that the rights of  his clients were grossly violated upon their arrest by the police on Wednesday, 5, 2019 as they were never arraigned in court rather they were taken from the police, briefly brought to the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice and then whisked off to the Monrovia Central Prison where he claimed have been denied, food, water and access to visitors while two of the female detainees are ill without having medical attention in detention.

Superintendent Varney Lake, however, denied the allegation and said it’s far from the truth.  

Amongst the 21 persons are students from the state-run University of Liberia, who, according to Cllr. Findley, are not rioters as alleged by the police rather they are politicians who were arrested by the police while performing their constitutional duties when they assembled in a peaceful manner to petition the government on the governance process of the country.

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