The NEWS (Monrovia)

28 December 2012

Liberia: Pres. Sirleaf Releases 33 Prisoners for Christmas

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has pardoned 33 pre-trial detainees held at the Monrovia Central Prison as part of her Christmas gesture of sharing with the Liberian people.

Under the Constitution, the President of Liberia has the power to pardon a convicted or pre-trial detainee.

According to an Executive Mansion release, those pardoned by President Sirleaf during her visit to the Central Prison on Friday, December 21, included 8 females and 25 males who had been detained for various offenses ranging from theft of property, misapplication of entrusted property to disorderly conduct.

Accompanied by the Minister of Justice Cllr. Christiana Tah, the Liberian leader ordered her to make sure that those pardoned be made to carry out community service as a way of paying back for their wrongdoing against community dwellers.

Those being pardoned chanted praises of President Sirleaf, and assured that her pardon would not be in vain as they would be "peace ambassadors" in their respective communities while carrying out their service.

Some of the detainees had been behind bars from one to three years. However, the President requested that some of those pardoned be turned over to the Acting Monrovia City Mayor Mary Broh for their service.

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