Cllr. Betty Lamin Blamo, Solicitor General of Liberia on Wednesday, July 9 told the Civil Law Court that, if probable cause is found government would arrest more people for instigating the riot at ArcelorMittal.
ArcelorMittal is an iron ore company that is currently operating in Nimba County.
The July 3 riot damaged millions of United States Dollars worth of properties of the company.
Cllr. Blamo further told the court, “As, I’m speaking, officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) are arresting people, and we will continue to carry out more arrests in the county.”
The statement she made in open court was in response to a question, requesting her to explain the number of alleged rioters that was transferred to the headquarters of the LNP from Nimba County by the defense team.
The S/G further argued that only 41 persons were undergoing investigation and not 46, as claimed by the defense team.
However, lawyers representing the detainees filed a Bill of Information, praying the Court to request government to turn over 46 persons in custody.
A Bill of Information is a formal written accusation made by a prosecuting attorney charging a named person with a specific crime.
Following the insurance of that bill, on Wednesday, government brought only 41 persons to court, instead of the 46 requested by their lawyers.
Justifying the figures, Cllr. Blamo went on to say in open court “We did not bring 46 persons from Nimba. We brought only 41 and here they are. We are still investigating and we will continue to make arrests in the county.” She added: “If there is probable cause to do so, government will arrest more rioters in the area.”
She further noted that “for now we can’t say how many persons, we have in our custody around the county, in connection with the company’s looting.”
In counter argument, the defendants’ lawyers described the statement of the SG as a “fishing expedition.”
“This is an action of fishing expedition that was creeping into the government’s investigation. They need to tell this court where the remaining five persons are,” defense lawyers demanded.
“Let them say whether they [wmissing along the way to Monrovia. Or they were killed in the process. Let them make us to know. What we are aware of is that they broug]ht 46 persons to Monrovia from Nimba County,” the defense team insisted.
The lawyers also named the missing defendants as Saye E. Musa, Sam G. Takruah, Nelson Korqui, Terrance Dolo and Daniel Riche.
After resting with their arguments, however, Judge Emery Paye did not give credence to the number of persons detained.
He went on to advise the defense team to make it their duty to search the entire headquarters of the LNP and know the actual persons brought to Monrovia from Nimba.
However, the 41 persons that were arrested on July 3 have been charged with multiple crimes such as, rioting, theft of property, armed robbery among others.