Following several hours of deliberation, the Jury at Criminal Court ‘C’ on Monday, April 7, found Shirat Nelwadda, a Ugandan citizen, guilty of trafficking 1.2 kgs of narcotic drugs valued at US$30,000 in the country.
The jury said prosecution produced overwhelming evidence that convinced them to bring down the guilty verdict against the defendant.
The court will announce the number of years she will spend in jail at the Monrovia Central Prison at a later date.
After the verdict Monday, April 7, Nelwadda broke down in tears, but her lawyers took serious exception to the jury’s verdict, describing it as a “miscarriage of justice.”
She was indicted by the government with multiple crimes, including unlawful possession, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs.
She denied all of the charges when they were read to her in open court by the clerk of the court.
Details of the document that brought Nelwadda under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Court— a copy of which is in the possession of this paper— said, on November 30, 2013, she was arrested with 1.2 kilograms of heroine valued at US$30,000 by joint security assigned at the RIA.
The document further quoted police as saying: “the drugs were in a black suitcase that she was traveling with.”
It continued: “During the investigation, the defendant said she was traveling to Liberia for the first time to meet a “boyfriend” called Ekina, who she claims not to know, but was told to meet by Nalutarya Laila, her girlfriend in Zama, Kampala, the capital city of Uganda.”
It further alleged that “upon her arrival at RIA and subsequent arrest with the drugs , defendant Nelwadda could neither give the contact address or telephone number of the so-called boyfriend, who she claimed is the owner of the drugs she was carrying.”
“There and then, the crimes of unlawful possession, trafficking, and distribution of a narcotic drug the defendant did commit,” police concluded in the document.