12 July 2017

Liberia: MOJ Prepares Criminal Charges Against 'Sex Video' Producer

Photo: Erik Hersman
Downtown Monrovia

The Sexual Gender Based Violence Unit (SGBV) at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said it is ready to press criminal charges against the man who leaked a sex video to the public recently. Cllr. John Gabriel, the SGBV director, made the disclosure yesterday during a press conference in Monrovia, where he said the leak violates Section 18.17 of the Criminal Procedure Law.

"We are going to ensure that the perpetrator is arrested and investigated by state security, and will work along with the victim, while carrying out the investigation," he added.

Gabriel said since that the video is a criminal offense, the state has to intervene so that justice can take its course in the matter.

"The unseen material is a criminal offense and we believe a crime has been committed, because this nude video have been leaked to our underage children, which has created serious attention for which the ministry is prepared to bring the perpetrator to justice," he said.

Cllr. Gabriel then called on the victim to join the ministry in the process so that the investigation would yield a fruitful result.

He told the media that even though the ministry has not received any official compliant from the victim, the issue has claimed the attention of the citizenry nationwide, causing the victim to go into hiding to protect her image.

Despite the ministry's effort to bring charges against the perpetrator, there are reports that Sambola, who is at the center of the allegation, has left the country, with no idea of his whereabouts.

This newspaper also established that prior to Sambola reportedly leaving the country, he had also lost his jobs at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, the University of Liberia, and the United Methodist University.

Since the video was posted in the Unity Party's Facebook chat room, many Liberians, particularly women, have expressed shock and dismay, saying Sambola's action is disgraceful and has exposed one of the many immoral and indecent acts prevalent in the Liberian society.

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) recently also condemned the post in the strongest terms and put the blame squarely on Sambola. In a press release, the MGCSP described the sex video as a disgraceful and uncivilized action that further undermines the dignity of womanhood.

The Gender Ministry said its investigation revealed that the video was made a long time ago, but was made public due to an undisclosed misunderstanding between the lovers.

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