State lawyer predicts war


Some of the alleged mercenaries

Some of the alleged mercenaries

Cllr. Theophilous Gould, one of the state lawyers, has predicted war if a trial jury in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, acquits 18 Liberians charged with carrying out subversive activities in neighboring Ivory Coast.

“If you fail to convict the defendants because you feel they are Liberian then Cote d’Ivoire will revenge against Liberia by bringing war”, he pointed out.

But defense lawyer Cllr. Demspter Brown rejected Cllr.  Gould’s plead to the trial jury saying “his professional colleague was in error to go outside the cases”.

Cllr. Brown informed the presiding judge Henry Paye that the state lawyer was going outside the case and asked the court for intervention.

Judge Paye agreed with the defense lawyer cautioning Cllr. Gould stick to the issue in the indictment added that such statement to the trial jury was unhealthy for the proceeding. 

The 18 accused men were indicted in 2011 and 2012 on multiple offenses, ranging from mercenarism, murder, rape, arson and theft of property. They have since deny all the charges.

The six-page indictment said that when the post-elections violence broke up in December of 2010 in the Ivory Coast that led to the arrest of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, the defendants joined other Ivorians to cause trouble in the country.

Cllr. Gould said the state has overwhelming evidence to prove their case against the 18 Liberians, that they committed the acts, adding that the Liberian government was not making up story against them as is being speculated in many quarters.

“We will bring physical and documentary evidence including witnesses in order to prove our case. The defendants will take the witness stand. They will denied but evidence in our possession will show that they took part in the war in Cote d’Ivoire”, he stressed.

Cllr. Gould, who is legal consultant for the government in the mercenary trial, made the statement in open court while presenting their side of the case to the trial jury in keeping with law at the Criminal Court ‘D’ Temple of  Justice.

Meanwhile, the state prosecutor first witness Pasca Kollie has implicated some of the defendants in the cross border attack into the Ivory Coast in 2011 and 2012.

Mr. Kollie, who is believed to be an ex-fighter, revealed that it was Nyezee Barway alias General, among others, who killed the seven United Nations Peacekeepers in the Ivory Coast.

“It was General Barway who led the attack that resulted into the killing of the UN Peacekeepers.

“The purpose of the attack was to get arms and ammunitions because they were running out of supply as well as they were losing areas to their opponents”, he pointed out.


Story & Photo: Peter N. Toby