15 November 2012

Liberia: Journalist, Others, Arm Robbery Trial

The trial of former Kings FM News Director, Darlington Pelenah and two others resumes today at Criminal Court 'D' at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.

Journalist Pelenah was indicted in August this year, along with defendants Benjamin Bookie and William P. Randolph for arm robbery.

According to the notice of assignment, the case is expected to commence at 10:00 this morning.

Court sources told The NEWS that the Arm Robbery case is amongst several cases that are expected to be tried by the court during this November Term of court.

The Circuit Courts for Montserrado County formally opened for the November Term on Monday with several cases on the docket.

According to a three (3) page indictment drawn by the Grand Jury for Montserrado County on August 20, 2012, the defendants committed the crime on July 25 in the GSA Road community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

The twelve (12) counts indictment stated that on the above mentioned date, as complainant Weeks Thomas and his boys, Edwin Thomas and Chris Kettor drove home from their business center (Forex Exchange Bureau), the defendants rushed on them with several single barrel guns and immediately placed the complainant at gun-point and commanded them to lie on the ground.

The document said it was at that point one of the defendants grabbed the plastic that was containing US$17,000 and made away with it, while firing above their heads.

The indictment stated that prior to the departure of the defendants, one of the plaintiffs, Edwin Thomas, managed to have recognized Pelenah and was reportedly slapped in the face by Pelenah.

"It was then that he (Thomas) was shot in the head by one of the defendants and was taken to the Catholic Hospital," the indictment noted.

The defendants were separately arrested on July 26 and 29, 2012 at different locations in Monrovia. Since their arrests, there have been public outcries about their release or speedy trial. However, Arm Robbery is a capital offence and is a non-bailable crime under the laws of Liberia.

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