Several Pre-Trial Detainees to Be Released In Bassa


By: Perry B. Zordyu Email:

MONROVIA-Report from Buchanan City, Brand Bassa County says the Magisterial Court in the port city of Buchanan is expected to free 18 Pre-trial detainees.

According to reports, the detainees have been in detention for over 100 days which violates their rights as human beings. It follows a motion filed by the Defense lawyer of Grand Bassa County which was not objected to by the County’s Attorney.

Article 20 of the Liberian Constitution states that “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this Constitution and by due process of law.”

The Defense lawyer said the majority of the pre-trial detainees were accused of alleged crimes of Theft of Property, Burglary, and Misapplication of Entrusted Property, amongst others. He added that the decision is also in line with Rule 19 of Rules of Court Governing which says, “The maximum term a case should stay for before trial is 30 days, except for some motions.”

The defense lawyer further quoted Article 21 (F) of the Constitution of Liberia which states that, “Every person arrested or detained shall be formally charged and presented before a court of competent jurisdiction within forty-eight hours. Should the court determine the existence of a Prima Facia case against the accused, it shall issue a formal writ of arrest setting out the charge or charges and shall provide for a speedy trial. There shall be no preventive detention.”

At the same time, the County Attorney is urging both the prosecution and defense lawyer to follow up on their cases to avoid public perception when situations of such occurrences. Meanwhile, the pre-trial detainees are expected to be free from prison this week.

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