Seven Ivorians Express No Confidence In The Judiciary System

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Seven Ivorians who were arrested and detained for eight years have expressed no confidence in the Juduciary System and described the court decision to sent them back to jail as a complete witch hunt.

In an interview with the detained Ivorians in the Criminal Court A waiting room yesterday, the Ivorians said they were arrested, charged and detained for the crimes of murder, theft of property, rape and arson in August 2012.

Explaining their frustration in tears, they narrated that they were illegally held for crimes that they did not commit.

According to them, they have been refugees in Grand Gedeh county, and they were told by the current president of Ivory coast to return home but according to them, they are afraid to go back home because their lives are at risk.

They also disclosed another reason for their refusal to go back home on ground that the the first batch of 48 people that were sent back to the Ivory coast, were all executed.

The seven detainees have threaten to commit suicide upon their return to prison where they had already served eight years sentence and they were recently freed two weeks ago.

They further stated that the court decision to sent them back to prison is a complete human rights violation and anything that will happen to them while in prison the government of Liberia should be held responsible.

One of them during the exclusive interview said he was sixteen years old along with other brothers from the same parents were all jailed, and remained in prison until he is now twenty-three years old.

The disappointed Ivorian added that when they were recently released, they have been in the custody of UNHCR and LRRRC but they were told by those authorities that they are going back to jail because the judgement made by the magisteate judge has been over turned.

Accordingly, during their stay with UNHCR and LRRRC, they were going to be sent to third world country when the court mandate them to be jailed after spending another eight years at the Monrovia Central Prison and they haven’t seen their parents since the Ivory coast war.

However, Criminal Court C at the Temple of Justice, said court’s ruling on motion to rescind disclosed that the case on appeal from the Monrovia City Court Magistrate presiding over by Judge Kennedy Peabody, where he ruled and granted the Republic of Ivory Coast request through the petitioner, Republic of Liberia to extradite seven Ivorians to the Ivory Coast for allegedly committing the crimes murder, theft of property, rape and arson.

Court records showed that they were arrested and detained in August 2012 and Magistrate Peabody’s ruling was based on an ‘Extradition Treaty’ executed between the government of Liberia and the Ivory Coast on August 24, 1972, and duly ratified on January 18, 1973.

The court stressed that base upon this ruling on July 4, 2018, that the respondents appealed to this court sitting in its May 2018, term of court, but the respondents thereafter filed a bill of exception and subsequently completed their notice of appeal.

Criminal Court C further stated that while, the appeal was pending, the respondents on June 27, 2019, filed a writ of Habeas Corpus, alleging that in substance the defendants were being illegally detained in that they have been in prison beyond the maximum thirty days period since committal and have not been extradited, despite their letter of notification to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Liberia, on August 17, 2015; as provided by law and prayed court to be released.

Furthermore, since the motion to rescind as herein being diacussed, was made against the backdrop of the appeal neither from the writ of Habeas Corpus, they shall not deal with it succinctly in this ruling.

Therefore, suffice it to say, the ruling from whence this motion to rescind emanates is based on the ruling made by the court predicated upon a submission made in open court by the appellants to dismiss the petition for extradition, due to the failure of the requesting country, the Republic of Ivory coast, after the rendition of final judgement (July 4, 2018), to have the movants sent to the requesting country consistent with section 8.11 of the Criminal Procedure law.

This law provides that after thirty days upon rendition of final judgement, if the movants are not exteadited to their home country, they shall be released from extradition arrest, provided that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been duly notified.

But, the movant argued that they have fully complied with the provision of the law and the movant further stated that in their motion that the Liberia Refugees, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) is in full readiness to receive the movants and secure their well-being until they were sent to a third world country, in which they shall be accepted and live.

During the submission of this motion, the respondent interposed no objection to and was recorded in the minutes of court, hence, the motion to dismiss granted by the court and a day after, the respondent filed this motion to rescind, which was argued by the parties.

Filed In By Never G. Lomo