11 Convicts Released for Lack of Evidence

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Judge Blamo Dixon: "The case is dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence to convict the defendants."

By Abednego Davis 

The 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Tubmanburg, Bomi County has released eleven convicts and pre-trial detainees from prison.

Their charges ranged from false public alarm and theft of property to aggravated assault and burglary.

Two were sentenced to three months imprisonment and fined US$200 each.

Another defendant, Miatta Larmah, was sentenced to four months imprisonment and subsequently asked to restitute the amount of L$41,650 and pay a fine of US$400.

The defendant took out L$23,800 as a loan from a savings club in the county that she had failed to repay.

Releasing Miatta, Judge Dixon said, “The court remains in doubt how they arrived at the L$41,650 and compelled the defendant to restitute it.”

Dixon also said, “in fact, the case is devoid of any documentary evidence to establish a prima facie (criminal) case against the defendant.”

Seven prisoners had their charges rendered ‘nolle prosequi,’ meaning their charges were dropped due to prosecution’s request.

On the remaining two, charges were dismissed on grounds that the government failed to proceed with the trial within the statutory period.

The decision of the court was in an effort to reduce over crowdedness and provide relief to detainees for who Judge Blamo Dixon said there was insufficient evidence for the Magisterial Court to prosecute them.

This also included convicts who were sentenced by the court despite insufficient evidence.

Defendants Fallah Folley and Sahr Kamanor were charged with false public alarm and were convicted and sentenced to three months imprisonment and fined US$200 each.

They were said to have raised false alarm about the disappearance of one Madam Kumba Fallah from the Sime Darby Hospital on April 4, 2016.

The missing woman was discovered outside the Sime Darby plantation three days later.

Safullah Folley, Abraham Kane, Armah Marijohn, James Johnson, George Voh and Amos Roberts were charged with multiple crimes that included aggravated assault, burglary, and theft of property.

Their cases were dismissed by Judge Dixon due to the County Attorney for Bomi County, Cllr. Juma P. Karnley’s plea to drop the charges (Nolle Prosequi) in their favor.

Karnley’s argument was that the government did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute them.

Sam C. Gongo and Baby Kamara were both charged with aggravated assault and burglary.

A public defender in the county, Atty. J. Sackor Doe, filed a motion to dismiss the charges due to the government’s failure to proceed with the trial within the statutory period, though the Magisterial Court had them in detention.

Doe’s request was immediately granted by Judge Dixon who later dismissed the case and acquitted the defendants.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Observer, please help the public to have a good understanding of judicial actions. When you present “11 convicts release for lack of evidence” a perception is made that the courts tris people accused of crime (s), finds them guilty, and then set them free. I request you caption your headline to reflect the reality.

  2. Well how can “convicts” meaning guilty persons be released because of lack of evidence!When you are convicted, that means you are judged with evidence and found guilty.

  3. Convicts can not be released for lack of evidence. Apparently, the reporting is missing the legal meaning of the word convict. When you are released for lack of evidence, it means you were accused rather than convicted. When you are convicted it means the evidence was sufficient for which you were convicted or found guilty. When you are convicted you can only be released through Executive Clemency or if you took an appeal against your conviction and the Supreme Court overturns your conviction.

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