‘Gov’t Not Against Journalists’

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LNP Inspector General, Patrick Sudue

Police Inspector-General Patrick Sudue has assured journalists that they have no need to fear as the government is not interested in harming them.

Inspector Sudue’s assurance comes in the wake of the gruesome murder of Super FM photographer Tyron Browne by unknown person(s) and the ongoing exchange of accusaitons between BBC stringer Jonathan Paye-Layleh and Minister of Information, Eugene Nagbe.

According to Sudue, until facts are established through investigation and arrest, no one should be pointing fingers at anyone, least to mention the government, which is being blamed in some quarters for the journalist’s murder.

His assurance was contained in his statement yesterday at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism’s (MICAT) weekly press briefing on current developments.

He said the media should be confident of the commitment of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to bring the perpetrators of the late Browne’s murder to book.

“We are all hurt by the death of that enterprising journalist, and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family, the media community and the whole country.

“This is so because he was one of us, a Liberian and had all rights, including the right to live and move around without fear of intimidation,” he said.

About businessman George Kailondo, in whose employ Browne worked, Sudue said police will not arrest him (Kailondo) because he has put up a bounty of US$5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator(s).

“Mr. Kailondo has accused some officials of government for threatening him over the death of his employee but at the same time he has put up US$5,000 for whoever will break silence on what led to Browne’s death as police continue the investigation on the circumstances that led to the young man’s death,” he said.

He said Mr. Kailondo has the right to decide how to use his money, but it is important to note that no one, including Kailondo, has the right, in the name of freedom of speech, to accuse people or the government of wrongdoing when facts are not available.

“We wait on Kailondo to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that his life is threatened by the government because of the death of his employee. We want facts, not speculations,” he noted.

Inspector Sudue also labeled as ‘complete falsehood’ the statement by former Montserrado County District 8 representative Rufus Neufville that the government is responsible for the death of Browne because he (Browne) had a ‘damaging recording’ against the government.

“It is totally premature for anyone to assume that the government is responsible for the journalist’s death. Let him give facts so our investigation may be fast tracked and save us time and effort to avoid detaining people who might be innocent,” he said. “It is everybody’s business to help the police trace the perpetrator(s) of the crime.”

He said police officers are not politicians to be responding to rumors, speculations and accusations.

Concerning the recent alleged torture of John Davies at Sime Darby Plantation, Sudue said the management of the Malaysian palm company has been invited by the LNP for questioning.

“We invited Ali Kamal Abu Hassan, the general manager of Sime Darby to respond to questions about his company’s role in the circumstances leading to the alleged torture of John Davies, but our call on him coincided with the legislature’s call on him.

“Therefore, we had to allow him to attend to the call of that august body and later come to us and give an explanation on a couple of issues appertaining  to the alleged torture of the young man,” he said.

13 COMMENTS

  1. My Brothers and sisters, mothers,fathers and the LIBERIAN please let the Government do the work to find out the killer and the family of the journalists and pray for the family. You see all the things that is happening in Liberia is not from George MANNEH WEAH Administration when George MANNEH WEAH took over the country okay. From the 1980 and 2018 was killing in Liberia and not MR.GEORGE MANNEH WEAH Administration. AMEN

  2. Police Inspector-General Patrick Sudue has made the right move. Frankly, it makes no sense at all for anyone especially a member of a government to pick fights with the men women who work in the media business. A few week ago, the mayor Koijee of Monrovia raised heckles with some people in the media. The net result of his ill-advised assault on the media boomeranged in the face with maximum vengeance. I am sure that Koijee has learned a lesson. Sudue himself blundered shortly after being sworn into the reigns of power. But, Sudue realized his mistake and quickly apologized. Finally, Sudue’s attempt this time around to calm the concerns of the Liberian people is a credit to him and the government he represents.

  3. “police will not arrest him (Kailondo) because he has put up a bounty of US$5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator(s)”.

    Nobody is asking for his arrest without probable cause, but Mr. Kailondo ought to be questioned as a a ‘person of interest’. As boss of the victim he had ‘opportunity’, and ‘motive’ because he could’ve wanted to frame government for partisan reasons – and for the LNP boss to give him a free pass for posting a small reward of $,5000 sounds surreal.

  4. The mystery murder of journalist Tyrone Browne, is in itself a puzzle that one has to piece together, and will leave many questions to be answered. Mr. Browne , was not a high profile journalist to be well known to rub ‘shoulder’ with higher ups. Mr. Browne, prior to his death, was not known in many circles (I stand corrected on this). No personal items were taken away from the lifeless body of the victim. Which ruled out robbery. Where ever the murder took place, the body was brought to the victim’s residence.

    To unpack everything, investigators must piece together these facts and be able to know why this happened. Targeting a little known journalist may be a ‘covert operation’ to lay the blame squarely at the doorsteps of a bigger ‘fish’. Hence no personal item like money, cellphone, car or jewelries was taken, there is no reason why we could say it was due robbery. Last, but not the least, the killer/killers brought his body and deposited it before the victim’s doorsteps. This mean that the driver or passenger(s) in the ‘black jeep’knows the victim personally, or close enough to know his address in the dark of night.
    With these facts and closely investigating the inner circle of the victim, our crime solvers can soon zero in on suspected individual.

    The Inspector General of Police’s statement is encouraging to weather the storm that has clouded over this whole murder story. As of now, no one really know who killed Mr. Browne.
    May his soul RIP. Let’s find the killer(s), before he/they strike again.

  5. Liberia has a long way to go. Lots of incompetence and inexperience. The murder of this young man should be an easy case to solve if the right people with right credential and experience were placed in the right positions. To hear the IG giving someone a pass for putting up rewards is stunning to me. That tells me that those without money are at the mercy of God.
    So if this guy(Kailondo) is suspected with a high degree of certainty, he could go scot-free because he has money, seriously?

  6. Thanks, that’s the point, Mr. Gonker. Questioning persons of interest, for example those with ‘opportunity’ and ‘motive’ like Mr. Kailondo, is necessary for elimination as suspects, if no evidence exists to tie them to the commission of the crime.

    Thankfully, LNP said they have a suspect who confessed, and we highly commend their hard work. But considering doubts usually about voluntariness or not of confessions (al a the alleged confessions of so-called mercenaries from Grand Gedeh to the killing of UNMIL peacekeepers in Ivory Coast), including admissibility of confessions as evidence in court, the Tyron Brown murder investigation should be considered “ongoing”.

    For although that confession exonerates government from suspicion (something any discernible person should’ve known because it had no motive to kill him in spite of false accusations fanned by a perceived upstart “business man cum politico hustler”), how the confession was obtained is crucial to its reliability as admissible evidence in court.

    For instance, was the suspect warned that he wasn’t compelled to talk to the police, but that anything he said could be used against him; did police tell him it was his right to have a lawyer present; was he legally detained by a warrant of arrest signed by a magistrate before being questioned; or was the questioning tape-recorded and videotaped to show that it was voluntarily given by him and not due to promises of favor, or coerced by police? Until a confession meets these benchmarks, a court may keep it from the ears of jurors, leading to dismissal of the case in the absence of other evidence.

    To cut long matters short, when the criminal justice system (police & prosecutors) fail to properly prepare cases for court, the public blame defense lawyers and judges. Not surprisingly, many cases are thrown out of court for such sloppy shortcuts and overzealousness, which are unlawful. Yet even these indicators of police – prosecutors incompetency fall under the big tent “judiciary corruption” – poor judges!

    Anyway, the suspect who confessed reportedly told police he mistook Tyron Brown for an armed robber, yet dumped him in front of his house, which sounds fishy. But let’s assume that he killed Tyron out of jealousy of sorts, or something else, the idea that he wanted to take advantage of the current sour relationship between the media and government – as fanned by Kailondo, Nuefvell and others – elevates the heinousness of this brutal murder in my national security-conscious worldview.

    We, therefore, urge LNP to follow murder investigation procedures. Most importantly, a confession doesn’t eliminate examining the scene of crime; the vehicle in which suspect transported the body; and, for that matter, an autopsy in order to be precise about cause and time of death. This should tell whether the suspect told everything. When we do these essential things correctly and get convictions, then, we deter would-be murderers, and achieve policing ends of preventing crimes and protecting lives. It is a fun challenging job; pay well, and attract interested young college graduates, folks.

  7. Inspector you have security that guard you, so you need to talk about yourself.The Police need more training in handling people.police standing in front car for .50 cent. who does that?

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