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Supreme Court BenchThe Supreme Court of Liberia has reserved ruling for Appeal in the extradition of eight Ivoirian nationals who were indicted along with 19 Liberians for alleged Mecenarism, Murder, Arson, Rape and Theft of Property.

 

The Appeal grew out of a motion to dismiss the case against the eight Ivoirians on grounds that the same offenses for which the Government of Ivory Coast wants to prosecute the defendants, was the same crimes the Liberian Government has indicted them for.

In their argument, one of counsels for the eight Ivoirians, Cllr. Amara Sheriff told the High Court that the extradition proceeding was filed by the Government of Liberia based on request of the Ivoirian government.

Cllr. Sheriff informed the court that his clients were arrested in the PTP refugee camp in Grand Gedeh County by the Liberia National Police (LNP).

The defense lawyer said following the arrest of the Ivoirians, they were languishing in police custody without charges, until the filing of a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus against the Government of Liberia.

Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe, a former Solicitor-General of Liberia, who also represents the Ivoirians, argued that the Treaty the Liberian Government is relying upon cannot hold.

He cited the extradition proceeding filed against former Liberian President Charles Taylor in the 80s by then President Samuel K. Doe as his reliance.

Cllr. Gongloe told the Justices that the American Government at the time refused to extradite Taylor for political reason.

The defense said the eight Ivoirians were accused of plans to overthrow the Government of Ahassan Quattarra.

He prayed the High Court to grant the Appeal and set the defendants free because, according to him, they have been detained at the Monrovia Central Prison since 2011.

However, Cllr. Betty Lamin-Blamo, Solicitor-General of Liberia, who argued on behalf of the state, prayed the court to deny the Appeal for legal and factual reasons.

Cllr. Lamin-Blamo told the court that  the Government of Liberia indicted eight Ivoirians along with 19 Liberians on multiple crimes, during the August 2013 Term of Court.

She contended that while the case was pending, the Government of Liberia received a writ of arrest from the Government of Ivory Coast requesting the extradition of its citizens.

Prosecutor Lamin-Blamo said on December 19, 2012, Government filed a petition with the Monrovia City Court to extradite the Ivoirians.

She told the court that the extradition proceeding was only intended for Magistrate Nelson Chineh to identify the fugitives and see if the offenses were covered under the Treaty.