26 February 2013

Liberia: Court Denies Extradition Petition to Ivorian Mercenaries

The Stipendiary Magistrate of the Monrovia City Court, Nelson B. Chineh, has ruled that petition for the extradition of eight Ivorian defendants is denied and the case in question is hereby dismissed.

Giving the ruling yesterday at the Monrovia City Court, at the Temple of Justice, the Stipendiary Magistrate quoted article 6 (a) of the extradition treaty which says that " extradition shall not be granted if the competent authority of the requested state are proceedings against the person sought for in respect of the offense(s) for which extradition is requested."

The court added that at present, the Government of Liberia has formed an indictment and has secured the issuance of a writ of arrest from the First Judicial Circuit Criminal Assizes for Montserrado County charging the respondents with the same offenses for which they are sought to be extradited.

Addressing an array of Journalists shortly after the ruling, the defense counsel spokesperson, Cllr. Taiwon Gongle said he was very impressed with the level the judicial system has reached making independent judgment without favor or fear, adding, he admired the recent decision in the highest court where some decisions were taken against some legal practitioners for act outside this noble profession.

"I must say that justice was done in this case; first in the history of Liberia in this extradition hearing a group of people requested by their native country and the extradition has been denied because of the law. The Magistrate did not waver, he exhaustively ruled citing the law, that although the state met all the requirements, but fell short of article 6(b) quoted above," He added.

Hence, Cllr. Gongle has pledged to defend the accused against the other alleged charges till the final judgment is made.

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