19 June 2019

Liberia: Rep. Yekeh Kolubah Indicted

-As Rep. Gray walks freely

President George Manneh Weah's staunch critic Montserrado Representative YekehKolubah has been indicted by prosecutors over claims that he ordered his bodyguards to beat and wound one Emmanuel Sherman who allegedly rejected T-shirts and leaflets printed for the June 7 Save the State peaceful protest.

Prosecutors claim in the indictment that the bodyguards acted on Rep. Kolubah's order, but they have ignored public pressure to equally charge and indict ruling party Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Rep. Acarus Gray in whose presence his aide allegedly brutalized a businessman for arguing with the lawmaker (Rep. Gray).

Out of 20 students and supporters of Rep. Kolubah that were arrested in the week leading to the June 7 peaceful protest, five persons along with the lawmaker have been indicted for alleged aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, kidnapping and criminal facilitation/solicitation.

Rep. Kolubah is indicted along with defendant Oliver C. Konneh, Abu Keita, Mohammed S. Keita, Johnson Kpor and Mohammed A. Kaba.

Rep. Kolubah's lawyer Cllr. Lavala Supuwood told an interview Tuesday afternoon, 18 June that the lawmaker had not yet been served the indictment during the time of the interview.

In regards to when Rep. Kolubah will receive his indictment, Cllr. Supuwood says he is sure the Legislature and the Judiciary will work out the issues of protocol, but he cannot speculate about that now.

Rep. Kolubah is a vocal critic of President Weah and the administration, and he is one of the key planners of the June 7 Save the State protest led by the Council of Patriots (COP) to demand reforms in government.

However the legal team representing Rep. Kolubah and the rest of the five indicted persons were at the Criminal Court "A" working to settle the release of the indictees by tendering property bond and also availing human surety on the Court's demand.

"No we expect them to be with us," Cllr. Supuwood says in the interview, adding that "in the absence of any objection so far, uh, bond is valid."According to the defense team, the property bond filed is valued US$35,000.

The indictment says defendants Oliver Konneh, Abu Keita, Mohammed Keita, Johnson Skpor illegally arrested Emmanuel Freeman in Gay Town, Old Road Community on 5 June at 4:30, stripped him naked, handcuffed him and severely beat him with sticks, rocks and piece of iron on his head and other parts of the victim's body.

Prosecution claims in the indictment that the accused took the victim into the yard of Rep. Kolubah and began to inflict serious bodily injuries on the victim.

In the process, the indictment claims that Rep. Kolubah came out of this house "with a pistol" in his hand and allegedly remarked: "This is the man, we'll zero him tonight."

The indictment alleges that the Rep. Kolubah's statement motivated the Oliver and the rest of the accused to further beat Emmanuel Freeman mercilessly with sticks and a piece of iron in plain view of the lawmaker and under his alleged instruction.

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