New Democrat (Monrovia)

Liberia: Journalist, Others Back On Trial

Journalist Darlington Pelenah of King's F.M. and two others are expected to return to the court tomorrow in connection with the armed robbery charges against them.

Sources say the case is expected to begin at the Criminal Court "D" at the Temple of Justice, Monrovia, by 10 0'clock in the morning.

The prosecution recently requested for the sequestration of the jury to hear the case. The Court then wrote the Chief Justice asking for the wherewithal to try the case.

The matter is expected to be known tomorrow when the case is called for hearing.

Now in detention for over four months for alleged armed robbery, journalist Darlington Pelenah of King's F.M. and two others have since 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.

State prosecutors 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.

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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