-Police officer testifies in lawmaker's trial
Testifying as government's fourth witness, the head of the Crimes Services Department (CSD) at the Liberia National Police (LNP) Assistant Commissioner of Police Monroe A. Dennis says "Directly there was no witness" that told investigators that Rep. Yekeh Kolubah was involved in the assault against victim Emmanuel Freeman.
Instead, the State witness told the trial at Criminal Court "A" Monday, 6 April that police investigators concluded that Mr. Kolubah was linked to the assault because he was around the incident scene as a senior citizen but did not intervene.
"Directly there was no witness that told us that Yekeh was involved. And he being around as a senior citizen being around and not intervening make us to conclude that he was linked. Basically his intervention with the police to have his bodyguard released that morning," Officer Dennis tells the court.
Rep. Kolubah, a fierce critic of President George Manneh Weah is standing trial due to prosecutors claim in an indictment that the lawmaker's bodyguards acted on his order and brutalized victim Emmanuel Freeman who had refused to accept a leaflet offered him for a pending June 7, 2019 protest organized by the Council of Patriots (COP).
Prosecutors allege 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 says defendants Oliver Konneh, Abu Keita, Mohammed Keita, and 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.
Mr. Kolubah and the rest of the defendants were jointly indicted in relation to the allegation, but he has been granted separate trial by the court.
The indictment alleges that Rep. Kolubah's statement motivated 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.
Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie discharged officer Dennis from the witness stand Monday after briefly restating the witness' responses to the court's questions, saying: he (Rep. Kolubah) was charged based on [grounds that] he did not take appropriate action to have the victim released and that he (Rep. Kolubah) called the police commander who was the CSD Commander.
Earlier testifying Monday morning, Officer Dennis asserted that investigation established that victim Freeman was allegedly attacked at a local shop on the Old Road in the presence of the shop's owner only identified as Naomi, and forcibly taken away by his attackers to Rep. Kolulah's house under gunpoint.
Prior to the alleged incident, Officer Dennis says investigation established that the victim had refused leaflet for the June 7 (2019) protest extended to him by one of the guys in a pickup with Rep. Kolubah's personal bodyguard Abu Keita.
Dennis testifies that the guys later engaged Freeman at Naomi's shop on grounds that his statement for them to bring forth the families of those organizing the protest before he would accept the leaflet was a show of disrespect, allegedly prompting them to attack him.
Additionally, Dennis says during the investigation, Freeman said after he had been attacked and injured, Rep. Kolubah appeared and said "this is the guy we will zero him.
He alleges further that the investigation established that Rep. Kolubah solicited and facilitated the brutal flogging and humiliation of victim Freeman.
For his part, the State's fifth witness ReehamMellish testified that he was informed about the attack against Freemand, but he got there when the attackers had already beaten the victim.
He testifies that the attackers allegedly to Freeman to Rep. Kolubah's house, saying Keita cuffed the victim at a market building.
The witness says he left the scene after Rep. Kolubah allegedly said: "this is the man, I will zero him," and further says "yes," when the Court inquires if he didn't see the lawmaker beating or telling somebody to beat Emmanuel.However, witness Mellish testifies that he saw Rep. Kolubah with a pistol and telling his (Mellish's) friend that he will zero him.The trial continues Wednesday, 8 April at Court "A", Temple of Justice in Monrovia.