16 November 2012

Liberia: Journalist, Others Deny Armed Robbery Charge

Now in detention for over four months for alleged an armed robbery, journalist Darlington Pelenah of King's F.M. and two others yesterday pleaded not guilty to the indictment after being arraigned before Criminal Court 'A', thus joining issues with the state.

The state indicted Pelenah, William Randolph and Benjamin Bookie Gbar last August for armed robbing a businessman, Weeks Thomas, at his GSA Road residence on 25 July 2012.

In the 12-count indictment, Weeks said at 10:00 pm, Edwin Thomas and Chris Kettor picked him up from his Foreign Exchange Bureau in Paynesville Joe Bar Community bound for home.

He said when they entered their yard, the defendants rushed on them with several single barrel guns and shot in the air.

According to him, the defendants grabbed his plastic bag containing US$17,000 from his Green Nissan pickup and made away with it while still firing in the air.

He claimed that he recognized two of the defendants including journalist Pelenah who slapped him in the face during the day of the incident.

Meanwhile, state prosecutors have requested the court for jury trial and want them to be sequestrated in order to have a fair trial. Defense posed no objection to the request, adding that it is better for a fair trial.

Judge James Zotaa who granted the request, ordered the clerk of court to duly inform the Justice Chief in keeping with law.

Police arrested the three accused last July for their alleged involvement in armed robbery based on a complaint filed by Weeks Thomas.

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