15 November 2012

Liberia: Three Suspected Rapists Set Free

The failure of several rape victims to appeal in court to testify to their cases forced the office of the County Attorney of Montserrado to submit names of three rape suspects at Criminal Court 'E' for release after their prolonged detention at the Monrovia Central Prison without trial.

Court documents Wednesday affirmed the names of three persons set for freedom as Francis Power, Bill Sumo and Ruben Harris who were accused of rape.

County Attorney Daku Mulbah clearly warned all those having cases to come forward for prosecution or these cases will be dismissed in keeping with law.

"We can not fight your case without you. You have to come to court and testify in order to prove your case against there accusers. Moreover, the defendants cannot be in jail without him being tried. So, no evidence, no trial in keeping with law," he told reporters.

Section 18. 2 of the criminal law says, "Anyone that is accused of an indictable offense must be indicted and tried within two terms of court" or the accused person could be set free.

The Liberian government admitted in 2009 that it had indicted over 100 people in pretrial detention but has done nothing to release or try them, in clear violation of the law.

Release of the rape suspects follows that of 25 suspected armed robbers at Criminal Court 'D' by state prosecutors on grounds of lack of sufficient evidence to prosecute them.

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