One of the state lawyers, who argued last Wednesday at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, on the reasons 30 detained motorcyclists are yet to be granted bail, told a packed courtroom that the defense team’s intention was to make government appear as a “demon.”
He made the argument after the defense team filed a motion to have all of the defendants admitted to bail, and have them released temporarily from detention, where they have been since their arrest on April 16.
The defendants are facing charges including aggravated assault, arson and criminal mischief, theft of property, riot, and criminal attempt to commit rape.
Assistant County Attorney for Montserrado County, Tamba Gbori, appealed to the defense lawyers to “stop demonizing government.”
Atty. Gbori contended that “Government does not have any interest in denying the defendants bail because the crimes they are charged with are all bailable offences.
“Why should we deny them of their rights? The issue is that the defense team wants us to appear as though we were demons, and that we do not want to release the defendants on bail,” he said.
The defendants are expected to file appropriate and sufficient bail bonds as requested under the law, before they are temporarily released.
In their counter argument, lead defense lawyer, Cllr. Dempster Brown said government has refused to grant the defendants bail because “the state claimed that the defendants held people hostage and that is not so.”
Cllr. Brown also quoted Section 13.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law which states that “a person in custody for the commission of a capital offense shall, before conviction, be entitled as of the right to be admitted to bail, unless the proof is evident or the presumption is great that he is guilty of the offense.”
Immediately, after the hearing and counter argument, Judge Roosevelt Willie declared that “Since prosecution does not interpose any objection to the defense team’s request, therefore the motion for admittance to bail is hereby granted.”
“The defense counsels are ordered to file the appropriate and sufficient bail bond as requested by law in the proceeding, before their clients can be released. This is while the state is conducting investigation into the issue,” Judge Willie concluded.
The defendants were arrested and detained for their alleged individual roles in the April 16 riot during which a motor cyclist was killed leading to fellow riders going on a rampage and setting several police stations ablaze.