Lawyers prosecuting the former head of the presidential convoy accused of smuggling US$3.7million narcotic drugs into the country, Monday, July 14, rested their case at the Criminal Court ‘C.”
The prosecution's case, which began in June, included testimony and documentary evidences from the state security and the lead investigator for DEA, who testified that the defendants were not represented by a counsel during their investigation, according to law.
Defendant Perry T. Dolo, together with four other persons, Sekou Rogers, Augustine Saah, Cyrus Slewion and Mohammed Bah, were arrested on November 9, 2013, at a joint security check point in Teini, Grand Cape Mount County, in an alleged plan to smuggle the drugs into Liberia from Sierra Leone.
Dolo, who was then a driver of the presidential convoy, when the defendants were arrested, was identified as the “main suspect,” after police alleged that the substance was found in his vehicle.
Prosecutors were able to compile enough evidence to determine that he smuggled 10 bags of marijuana weighing 315kilograms and valued at LD$330,750,000 from neighboring Sierra Leone into the country.
Interestingly, only one of the 10 bags of the arrested substance had been produced into evidence by the prosecutors, which has led defense attorneys to argue that the evidence is circumstantial.
On July 2, the prosecution witness, Augustine Doe, the lead investigator for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) testified that the defendants were not represented by a lawyer, when they admitted committing the crimes during their investigation.
He quickly justified that the defendants chose to wave their rights to a legal counsel, as provided for under the law.
Doe also said that the investigators wrote the confession statement of each of the defendants before they were charged by the DEA.
After the state rested its case, the defense filed a “Motion to Suppress” citing that the alleged confusion statement written by the DEA’s investigator be excluded from the evidence.
A motion to suppress is a formal, written request to a judge for an order that certain evidence be excluded from consideration by the judge or jury at trial.
The motion was denied by Judge Yussif Kaba, who is presiding over the trial.
The trial is expected to continue on Wednesday. July 16 with the defendants taking the stand to prove their innocence in the allegation.