After admitting that Power TV recorded and televised the burning to death of the late Chief Inspector of the Police Support Unit (PSU), Amos Tutu by an angry mob, the Administrator of the station, Aaron B. Kollie, yesterday appeared before Criminal Court ‘A’ contending that the video recording was missing.
The video recording was an important evidence to back state lawyers’ case to hold several defendants, who are currently being tried for murder, guilty, based on their alleged roles in the burning to death of Inspector Tutu on August 27, 2010, on Capitol-Bye Pass Community in Monrovia.
Tutu was said to have shot and killed one Preston Davis, an act that reportedly prompted a mob action by angry residents, who subsequently overpowered Tutu, spilled gasoline on him and set him ablaze, killing him.
Kollie’s appearance yesterday was due to a directive of Presiding Justice in Chambers, Associate Justice Kabinah Ja’neh, immediately after he overruled the initial ruling of Judge Blamo Dixon that denied state lawyers request to have the station produce the televised video recording of Tutu’s burning.
On the witness stand, when Kollie was asked by prosecutors to produce the video recording of the incident, he responded, “All of our news events broadcast in the year 2009 and 2010 cannot be accounted for to date.”
Justifying his answer, Kollie said, “Based on my recollection, our entity (Power TV) did cover the incident mentioned on August 27, 2010, related to the burning of police officer Amos Tutu which was subsequently televised on our evening news broadcast.”
“But,” the Power TV manager said, “Considering the low quality of the technology employed in our recording system using VHS cassettes, we had no news storage system. All news events broadcast in the year 2009 leading up to 2010 cannot be accounted for.”
“However,” he explained, “it is only in the subsequent year that we were able to put in place a new storage system to account for all current events.”
“So in direct response to the request for our submission of said recording I wish to respectfully inform this court that we no longer have the recording in our possession,” Kollie said.
Also responding to a question that initially Power TV Station refused to give the recording to the Liberia National Police (LNP) to conduct its investigations into the incident, Kollie answered, “We did not get a communication from the police since 2010 up to the present making any formal request to us for the submission of the video recording related to the incident on the Capitol-Bye pass.”
He clarified that if such a request was made as it is now, “our response would have been the same relative to none availability of said recording, because of the lack of storage facility then.”