25 February 2016

Liberia: Activist Vandalark Patricks Charged With Multiple Criminal Offences

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Vandalark Patricks, head of the Campaigners for Change.

Monrovia — Political activist Vandalark Patricks has been formally charged by the government with sedition and criminal libel against President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Witnesses say Patricks was picked up at a local Haiti center downtown Monrovia at 4pm on Tuesday by officers wearing mufti and whisked off to the Headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP).

One day after his arrest and subsequently being charged by the Government of Liberia, Patricks was taken to the Temple of Justice late Wednesday afternoon at about 4:00 pm to the offices of the Montserrado County Attorney, Cllr. Daku Mulbah. There, he was handed a copy of the indictment.

Following his appearance at the office of the Montserrado County Attorney, he was later escorted to the Monrovia Central Prison under a heavy security escort. His legal counsel, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, was seen on Wednesday at the Temple of Justice ensuring that his client is brought to the court. "The Police have told me that they will be bringing my client to the court within 20 minutes time but he has been charged with sedition and criminal libel against the President," said Cllr. Gongloe.

Cllr. Gongloe indicated that the charges against his client were bailable and was only willing to secure the bail when he is brought to court and the charges are reviewed but Gongloe was unable to secure a bail for his client due to his late arrival by the Police, a source indicated. Court record in the possession of FrontPageAfrica states that the political activist was charged based on a press statement where he allegedly accused the President Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of being behind the lethal political violence against her political opponents in order to attain state power.

The Indictment also stated that political activist Patrick has allegedly said that the former Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) was murdered because he has exposed the bad dealings of the President Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. According to the indictment defendant (Patrick) also accused President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration of being involved in several political deaths including the death of Siafa Gbollie, standard bearer of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), Michael Allison, whistle blower, Harry Greaves, Victoria zayzay and 16-yr old Shaki Kamara.

The court indictment also stated that in order for the defendant to incite the people against the government he pronounced that the Government was mute on the ritualistic killings that has been carried out against girls by rapists when the defendant failed to realize that all of the rape cases when reported the suspects are investigated and when found culpable are sent to court for prosecution,

Also the indictment accused the defendant of declaring open support to the political leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) Simeon Freeman recent statement that the government has a blacklist that bears the name of political opponents to be eliminated including the leader of the main opposition party the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).

"The act committed by the defendant Vandalark Patricks grossly violates the New Penal Law of Liberia Section 11.11 of the statutory law of the Republic of Liberia" stated the indictment. Defendant Patricks arrest and subsequent charge by the government comes barely a week when information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe announced that government will go after people who use the airwaves to castigate government.

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