27 February 2013

Liberia: Broh in Double Jeopardy

Suspended Monrovia Acting City Mayor Mary is in a double jeopardy after the Monrovia City court arrested her while she is still wanted by the House of Representatives on contempt charges despite a stay order by the Supreme Court.

The Monrovia City Court charged Ms. Broh with "Obstructing of Government Operations" under Subchapter A, Section 12, 1V LCL Revised of the Liberian Penal Code.

The presiding judge of the magisterial court Nelson Chineh told Ms. Broh in open court that under the Liberian law she is entitled to a bond because the offense is billable. Otherwise she risked being detained at the Monrovia Central prison.

Immediately after the judge's ruling, the suspended City Mayor's defense lawyer Stephen Dumber secured a LD30,000 cash bond to secure her temporary release pending court trial.

The judge said Ms. Broh is expected to reappear in court on 4 March 2013.

While the process was going on, an angry crowd prevented Mary Broh from leaving the court on grounds that the House, which prompted police intervention, wanted her.

However, in a hurriedly arranged press conference, Justice Minister Christina Tah confirmed the arrest saying that authorities of her ministry were on the scene on the day Mrs. Grace Kpaan was imprisoned, but Ms. Broh prevented the process.

"Based on the petition filed by the Ministry of Justice on Thursday, on behalf of Supt. Grace Kpaan, a writ of Prohibition was issued along with a stay order to halt the arrest and incarceration of Mrs. Grace Kpaan until the matter is heard by the full Bench of the Supreme Court," the Justice Minister said

But, in spite of the arrest yesterday, Ms. Broh is still wanted by the House despite the Supreme Court's stay order in her case.

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