Apparently out of frustration, Judge Emery Paye of criminal court ‘D,’ on Friday March 14, suspended the impaneling (selecting a number of jurors from a list) of a nine-member jury team, that is expected to come-down with a guilty verdict against 18 Liberians on trial as “mercenaries.”
The “mercenaries” were accused of staging a cross-border raid between 2010 and 2011, into neighboring Côte d’Ivoire, where several persons, including seven United Nations Peacekeepers, were murdered.
The defendants have always denied the allegation whenever they appeared in Court over the past few years.
At Friday’s hearing the court presented 15 persons, nine of which were to be vetted and qualified to serve as jurors.
Surprisingly, all 15 individuals were rejected by both the defense team and the prosecution.
They said the 15 persons did not meet the criteria to serve on the panel.
That rejection shocked Judge Emery Paye so much, that he invited the lawyers (persecution and defense teams) into his chamber.
After an hour of closed-door discussions, Judge Paye, instructed his sheriff to call other jurors from Criminal Court ‘A,’ from which he expected the lawyers to select the nine individuals needed to help him decide the case.
Again, the new set of jurors was rejected by the prosecution; no reason was given for their rejection.
As a result, Judge Paye immediately ordered the process suspended until Monday, March 17, to make another attempt to empanel a jury.