The Informer (Monrovia)

Liberia: Ivoirians Battle Against Extradition Order

A number of Ivoirians residing in the Country who have been accused of various crimes ranging from mercenary activities, murder, arson, theft of property and criminal conspiracy against their Country have asked the Monrovia City Magisterial Court to deny, dismiss, quash and suppress the charges against them. They are currently being detained at the Monrovia Central Prison.

According to the respondents, the petitioner, through its prosecuting arm, the Ministry of Justice, is aiding and helping the requesting Country, the Republic of Ivory Coast, in persecuting, exterminating and continual torturing of its peaceful citizens whom the state perceives as Political enemies merely on the basis of ethnicity.

The respondents averred that they were part of the mass exodus that entered into Liberia from the Republic of Ivory Coast because their lives were in imminent danger due to ethnic cleansing.

They said it is a complete irony for them to kill United Nations Peace Keepers as alleged by the petitioners; when in fact they are under the direct protection of the United Nations by and through the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR).

The accused maintained that the reverse of the petitioner's contention is true, in that it is the requesting country, through its belligerent forces that were attacking and torturing the respondents, thereby precipitating mass movements into neighboring countries like Liberia, Ghana, Guinea, etc.

The respondents therefore argued that extraditing them will result to them being directly killed and tortured. The respondents noted that this petition should fall on the ground, like the ripe fruit falling to the ground.

The respondents furthered that due to the Ivoirian Government's political motive, if they are extradited to the requesting Country, they will be summarily put to death, as the so-called assurances that they will be given a fair trial is a mere diplomatic statement that is far from reality.

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