Justice Ministry Withdraws I8 Rape Cases; Judge Sets Eight Free Eight

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Criminal Court ‘E’ Judge Serena Garlawolo Wednesday ordered the release of eight men who were facing trial on rape related crimes due to lack of sufficient evidence to prosecute the men.

She mandated the clerk of court to issue a release order to the Superintendent of the Monrovia Central Prison to effect the release for the defendants. The accused rapists set free by the judge include: Mulbah Sumo, Stanley Gaye, Lawrance Sonkalay, Marfred Kerkula, James Wleh, Junior Saye, Abraham Morris, and John Jarbo.

In a related development the Ministry of Justice has requested the withdrawal of 18 cases involving 18 men who are accused of raping several women from 11-year-old to 18-year between January 2016 to 2018.

Record shows the cases were forwarded to Criminal Court ‘E’ during the February term of court for dismissal but prosecutors say they have discovered new evidence.

In a communication to Criminal Court “E”, Cllr. John A. A. Gabriel – Director of Sexual Gender Based Violence Crimes Unit at the ministry said the recall request is is based on good faith.

“Even though there are waivers on the faces of the files but waiver does not stop prosecution especially when there are compelling and overwhelming pieces of evidence that suggest that prove is evidence and presumption is great,” he said.

Writes Jenebou Turay