Human rights lawyer Tiawan Gongloe has condemned sedition charges levied against opposition member Mulbah Morlu and 10 others who are expected to appear before the Monrovia Magisterial Court on Friday.
Morlu, a member of the main opposition party the Congress For Democratic Change (CDC) and the 10 others believe to be members of various civil society groups were arrested on Wednesday during President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's arrival back home from the U.S. when many Liberians including Morlu have called for her resignation of the president accusing her government of practicing nepotism and shown no concern for the fight of corruption.
Cllr. Gongloe told reporters Thursday at the Temple of Justice that Morlu and the other arrested have been charged with rioting and sedition and are expected to be taken to the Monrovia City Court Friday after spending two days behind bars.
The human right lawyer said that he was not happy for the manner in which Morlu and the others have been arrested and taken to jail and subsequently charged with rioting and sedition when at the time of their arrest there was no rioting that took place in any part of Monrovia.
"There have to be some seriousness in this country in building democracy, I told the police boss and other security personnel at the time I serve as Solicitor General that nobody should be arrested for using the democracy space for expressing their views, the arrest of Morlu and others was wrong " Gongloe expressed.
Gongloe has maintained that he has offered to represent Mulbah Morlu and the 10 others with free legal services when they appeared in court Friday adding that in democracy one does not need to arrest the others because they have expressed the opposite view.
At same time lawyers representing 18 alleged mercenaries mostly Grand Gedeans have planned to challenge the challenge the ruling of Judge Yussif Kaba for retrial when the Supreme Court opens its October Term this Monday
In his ruling recently the presiding Judge of the Criminal Court "D" Yussif Kaba ordered for retrial the case following a revelation by one of the jurors Jeremy Neufville alias Jeremy Dweh who accused prosecution lawyers led by Montserrado County Attorney Daku Mulbah and Solicitor General Betty Larmie Blamo of attempt to bribe the jurors with US$1500 each to render verdict in favor of the prosecution.
Judge Kaba indicated that the revelation of the juror was troublesome to the judiciary therefore it was expedient to conduct investigation to establish the facts in the claim made by the juror and ordered that the case be ruled to trial and ordered the same juror to jail for one month for using two names on the jury form the rest of the jurors was disbanded and stipend suspended until an investigation is conducted within a one month period.
The lead lawyer of the defense counsel of the 18 defendants Tiawan Gongloe said shortly after the case was adjourned that last week that it was a sad day in the Judiciary when the judge abruptly called for retrial when he had a witness on the stand to testify and denied that will only to rule the case for retrial.
On the question of jury bribery Montserrado County Attorney Daku Mulbah denied the claim of jury Jeremy Dweh claiming that the juror in question had used two faked names on the jurors' form and was attempting to find and excuse.
The 18 alleged mercenaries on trial including former general of the defunct rebel movement Liberia United for Reconstruction and Democracy (LURD) Ophoree Diah are accused of the cross border attack at the Liberia and Ivory Coast border in 2011 and 2012 that left seven UN peace keepers from Niger killed but all 18 defendants have denied the claims during trial.