Aaron Lackay, the defense team’s first witness being tried for his alleged role in spilling gasoline on Inspector Amos Tutu of the Police Support Unit (PSU), and setting him ablaze thereby killing him instantly, yesterday told Criminal Court ‘A’ that he was not in Monrovia when the officer was killed.
Lackay in his testimony further claimed that he was on trial because he was then the chairman of the gas sellers’ association on the Capitol Bye-Pass where the incident took place.
According to Lackay, he was arrested by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in Gbarnga, Bong County where he had gone to visit his mother when the By-Pass incident occurred in Monrovia.
He and four others are facing murder charges for their alleged individual roles in the burning to death of Police Inspector Tutu on August 27, 2010, in the Capitol Bye-Pass Community.
Tutu was accused of shooting to death one Preston Davis, which reportedly incited a mob action by angry residents who overpowered Tutu, spilled gasoline on him and set him ablaze leading to his death.
Further in his testimony yesterday, the defense first witness claimed that after his arrest, he was beaten and tortured by police officers right before the eyes of his family.
“There were several police officers whose names I cannot remember, but among them, I can remember the name of Augustine Mehn, who even pleaded with his colleagues to eliminate me because I was a dangerous person,” narrated Lackay, implicating the police officers in torturing him during his arrest in Gbarnga.
“They held me handcuffed from the SKT Community near Gbarnga until we arrived at the Headquarters of the LNP, where I was dragged upon arrival there until we reached the office of the Criminal Investigation Division of the LNP,” he added.
Their action, he claimed, was to make him confess that he was among those who burnt Tutu to death. “With all of their ill treatments against me, I told them that I don’t have any knowledge about the killing,” he explained.
“So, they told me that I had something hiding in my stomach, and they pepper sprayed me and used their electric batons to force me to confess, which I refused to do up to present,” the defense witness told the court.
“Besides, they sat me in a chair and handcuffed my hands behind me for me to say something about the death of their colleague Inspector Tutu, but I continued to tell them that even if they will kill me, let them do so, because I am innocent of the incident,” Lackay maintained.
The case continues.