Drama unfolded last week, at the Temple of Justice, when Jefferson Sanoe, who had been in the custody of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and National Security Agency (NSA) for more than 12 days, was immediately re-arrested by state security, after he was declared freed by Judge Johannes Zogbah Zlahn of Criminal Court ‘A.’
Cllr. Zlahn is the judge that threatened to issue a civilian arrests order against Police Inspector General (IG) Chris Massaquoi and the National Security Agency (NSA) Director Fumba Sirleaf, if they had refused to turn over Sanoe, last week to the court.
IG Massaquoi and Director Sirleaf adhered to Judge Zlahn’s order and immediately surrendered the defendant to the court.
Defendant Sanoe was arrested on October 21, in Gbarpolu County by state security for allegedly “stealing a diamond” valued as US$1.5 million.
The diamond is believed to be owned by a senior minister at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME).
The creek where the substance went missing is controlled by the minister’s sister identified as Marthaline Weah, who brought the allegation against Sanoe.
The defendant was hired by Madam Weah.
It all started when the Criminal Court ordered the police to immediately release Sanoe from further detention, following several threats of arrest.
In his order to the state security, Judge Zlahn in strong words declared that “No one including the police is above the law. The law gives equal protection and rights to everybody.”
He further added, “The prisoner whose rights were illegally restricted by state security has been restored by the court and he is free to go home without any harassment.”
Shockingly, while walking with his family in the compound of the Temple of Justice, Sanoe’s freedom was cut short.
This time he was rearrested by officers from another court, the Monrovia City Court, also at the Temple of Justice.
It was at the Monrovia City Court that defendant Sanoe was charged with multiple crimes, including theft of property and economic sabotage, alleging that he stole diamond valued as US$1.5 million.
He denied the crimes when he was given the opportunity to speak about his arrest and subsequent incarceration in open court.
However, during her testimony, Madam Weah the accuser, told the court that she was not on the scene when the diamond was allegedly stolen.
Instead, she said, it was some of her other employees who informed her about the stolen diamond.
She quoted her employees, saying “Sanoe dug-up the diamond from the water and he put it in his mouth and left the area.”
She further stated that Weah’s friends told him that they were going to report him to him to me.
Madam Weah could not disclose the names of her employees that gave her the information about the missing diamond.
“I personally did not see the diamond she continued, “but my people took photo of it on their phones.”
Immediately after her testimony, Associate Magistrate Joseph Harris decided to abstain from the case. “I thought this case was a simple one, but it involves US$1.5 million. In this matter, I don’t have anything to do with it.”
He defended his abstention by saying “It is beyond my range and I can’t do anything right now.”
He added, “I’m afraid to release you on a bond because the money is too much and I don’t want to put myself into trouble;” adding: “I can’t allow you to go free, so take him to the County Attorney for Montserrado County Cllr. Daku Mulbah to order his imprisonment at the Monrovia Central Prison, until he can secure a criminal appearance bond in the tune of US$3 million.”