31 May 2017

Liberia: Contempt Charge Dropped Against Keita

The Monrovia City Court has dropped the criminal contempt charge against Child Rights Activist and Noble Peace International Child Laureate, Abraham Keita. The court on Tuesday dropped the charge against Keita following pleas from his legal counsel, Human Rights Lawyer Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe.

Cllr. Gongloe said it was never his client intend not to appear in court after the writ of arrest that which is under the integrity and dignity of the court. He said his client acted without the death of knowledge in law by not appearing before the court.

"Any appearance of defiance or disobedience of the order of the court including, but not limited notice to appear, as summons or arrest clearly under the integrity and dignity of the court", he said.

In furtherance, the City Court Stipendiary Magistrate, J. Kennedy Peabody granted the prayer of the defense lawyer and dropped the charge of criminal contempt since in fact there was no interposed by the complainant counsels.

"The man who shouts respect the rule of law has a huge responsibility in society by virtue of his profession," Magistrate Peabody said. "To advocate for the rights of others mean advocate on their behalf are less fortunate in society or perhaps unable to do for themselves," he said.

The court has however cautioned the defendant that this is a country of law and as such, he must do thing in confirm of the law. "Wherefore, and in view of the foregoing facts, circumstances of the contempt proceedings, it is the holding of this court that the defendant is not guilty of Contempt by his admission in court,"The City Court Magistrate noted that, "this court hereby drop all charges and forth warn him to always remain law abiding citizen and respect the rule of law".

The contempt charges were dropped against the defendant also on the ground that is a holy week of Ramadan and the almighty Allah has heard that prayer hence, contempt charges are hereby dismissed.

This situation grew out of the demonstration staged by the Child Right Advocate and followers in demand of having Grand Gedeh County District #2 Representative Morias Waylee investigated on an alleged rape.

Keita was ordered to be arrested and charged with criminal coercion by on the 25th of May 2017 by the court after a complaint was filed against him by Rep. Waylee at which time they filed in his bond.

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