Cllr. Musah Dean, the lawyer who legally fought for the Supreme Court to acquit Hans Williams and Mardea Paykou of murder charge, is seeking for compensation for the prolonged detention of his clients.
Hans and Mardea were arrested in January 2008 and convicted and sentenced to death by hanging for raping and strangulating a 13-year old girl, Angel Togba, on March 19, 2010.
Fortunately, they were set free by the Supreme Court on August 15, 2014 on ground that there was no evidence to convict and sentence them to death by hanging.
But, addressing journalists at his Carey Street office on Friday, August 22, Cllr. Dean disclosed that “We are considering pursuing legal claim against government to compensate our clients.”
He added, “Our clients were wrongfully detained for over six years and six months. They need to be compensated for the harm and damages done to their reputation and character.”
According to him, it is provided in the Constitution that anyone who is affected by government‘s action should seek redress in a Claim Court, which should be set-up by the National Legislature.
He went on to say that the Legislature continue to delay in setting up said court, which according to him, would address injustices committed by government against innocent people.
“In the absence of this court, government should take step to remedy the wrongs and compensate our clients,” he further contended.
“Their reputations are destroyed, they are out of job, and they have lost everything they worked for in their lives. They suffered tremendous incarceration in an uncomfortable environment. So, they should be compensated,” Cllr. Dean maintained.
In addition, Hans and Mardea lawyer said he was considering another alternative, either with some international institution like the ECOWAS Court, where people had gone and they have sought redressed for injustice committed against them by their respective governments and they have been compensated.
“Look, they need to do so, because to prove our clients innocent, we invited the expertise of a team of American pathologists from Nebraska Institute of Forensic Sciences in the United States of America (USA) that conducted autopsy on the remains of Angel Togba,” Cllr. Dean stressed.
“The American team, after their autopsy, concluded that Angel died of suicide. Dr. Thomas L. Bennett, a member of the team, who testified to his findings, told the court that Angel died by non-total suspension,” he added.
Hans Williams and Mardea Paykue were arrested in January 2008 by the Liberia National Police (LNP), after the death of 13-year-old Angel Togba.
According to defendants Hans Williams and Mardea Paykou, they discovered the body of Angel hanging from the curtain rail in their guest bathroom in November of 2007 in the Old Road Community.
They tried all they could to save her and at the same time rushed her to John F. Kennedy (JFK) Medical Center, but Angel was pronounced dead on Arrival.