5 September 2014

Liberia: Browne's Family Woes Deepen - Son Arrested After Father's Nightmare

Monrovia — The son of the Managing Editor of the now shut down Chronicle Newspaper, Philibert Browne, has been arrested, charged with several crimes, including sexual harassment by the Liberia National Police (LNP) and forwarded to the court for prosecution.

Court record in the possession of the FrontPageAfrica states that the young Browne, a resident of the Brewerville Community, was arrested on September 3, 2014 and charged by the LNP with sexual and aggravated assault and attempt to commit murder based on a complaint by a lady (name withheld) who is also a resident of the Brewerville Community.

The lady is reported to have told the Police during investigation that on August 19, 2014, she had come from escorting her sister who had gone to visit and upon her return, an unknown huge man dressed in black and white cap grabbed and dragged her to an unfinished building. She furthered that the huge man demanded her to produce the money she had and tied her neck with a rubber wire, threatening to kill her.

She said while in the process, he removed her pants in an apparent attempt to sexually abuse her; but did not succeed because she grabbed his penis and exerted force on it hereby causing him to release her and flee the scene. The Police stated in its charge sheet that based on the gravity of the complaint, officers of the Zone #6 Depot were able to visit the crime scene, where several items including identification, social and insurance cards, tights, head tie and rubber wire were all found.

According to the LNP during investigation with the defendant, he denied any knowledge of any aggravated and sexual assault on the lady in question, but admitted being the owner of the items found at the crime scene. He claimed that the items had come from his car broken into by some criminals on the night of August 15, 2014.

In the charge sheet the LNP admitted that when quizzed whether he ever reported the case to the Police, he responded in the negative, saying for reason best unknown to himself, he did not report the matter to the Police. According to the Police, defendant Browne was charged with the crimes of sexual and aggravated assault and attempt to commit murder based on the statement of the victim, witnesses, suspect, crime scene visitation and analyzes and the medical report from the SOS Medical Center in Congo Town.

"Wherefore and in view of the facts gathered in this investigation, the Women and Children Protection Section of the LNP resolved to charge defendant Archibald Browne with the crime of sexual and aggravated assault and attempt to commit murder in violation of the penal law," concluded the charge sheet.

Defendant Archibald has been whisked off from the LNP to the Brewerville Magistrate Court. But FrontPageAfrica was unable to gather from Magistrate James Cooper whether he was admitted to bail or committed as the cell number of the Magistrate was called several times but off.

Browne's arrest comes barely two weeks after officers of the Liberia National Police stormed the Carey Street office of his father Philibert Browne and arrested him for publishing a news story in the Chronicle Newspaper that reveal a plan by some Liberians in the Diaspora to establish an interim government to replace the Unity Party (UP) led government of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The Diaspora group accused the Sirleaf-led government of corruption and failure to address the plight of averages Liberians who are surviving on a US$1 daily. Managing Editor Browne is still undergoing investigation and yet to be charged since his arrest by armed officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) two weeks ago.


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