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GeneralLiberia news

2 Liberian officials go on trial in South Korea

The Liberia Maritime Authority announces here that trial of Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Mr. Moses Owen Brown and the Director of the Marine Environmental Protection Department at LiMA Mr. Daniel Tarr, was scheduled to commence yesterday, Wednesday, November 30, 2022, in Busan, South Korea.

According to LiMA, Messers Brown and Tarr have been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and joint illegal confinement by the Office of the Prosecutor, Busan, South Korea.

These charges of the two Liberian officials stemmed from an incident that occurred on the evening of September 22, 2022, in the Port City of Busan, South Korea, while representing the Republic of Liberia at an IMO Training Seminar.

The release says since their arrest on these charges, the Republic of Liberia has engaged the Republic of Korea through official diplomatic channels, including transmitting three (3) different diplomatic notes, asserting inter alia the diplomatic statuses of the two Liberian officials.

The Republic of Liberia had, upon learning of the arrest of Messers. Brown and Tarr, dispatched a Consular of the Liberian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan (which also covers the Republic of Korea) to ascertain the facts of the alleged incident and to assert Liberia’s claim of diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution of the two officials.

However, the Republic of Korea has, through diplomatic channels, rejected all claims of immunity, stating that the two Officials were not assigned to Liberia’s Diplomatic Mission to the Republic of Korea nor were they attending a Diplomatic Conference when the alleged incident occurred in Busan, South Korea.

The release continues that with this stance taken by the Republic of Korea, the Government of Liberia through the Liberia Maritime Authority and with guidance from the Ministry of Justice, dispatched a legal team, headed by its Principal Director of Legal Services, to retain the services of a Korean law firm to provide legal representation for Messers. Brown and Tarr.

The Republic of Liberia, through the Liberia Maritime Authority, has also hired the services of Pureum Law Office, a law firm that specializes in criminal defense of foreign nationals in South Korea. While in South Korea, the Liberian legal team met with Messers. Brown and Tarr at the detention center in the Port City of Busan confirmed that they were in good health and being accorded appropriate treatment while under detention.

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Pureum Law Office has since also met with Messrs. Brown and Tarr on multiple occasions and began to provide legal representation for the two Officials.

But the LiMA says Messers. Brown and Tarr have both denied raping the two Korean ladies and have, under legal guidance from Pureum Law Office, entered a plea of not guilty to all charges levied against them by the South Korean Authorities. The Liberian Legal Team remains engaged with Pureum Law Office to ensure that the two Officials receive adequate legal representation throughout the trial.

Cognizant of the gravity of the charges levied against two of its Officials, the Republic of Liberia remains engaged with the Republic of Korea to establish the facts of this case and safeguard the due process rights of Messers. Brown and Tarr.

 The Republic of Liberia also continues to engage the Republic of Korea through official diplomatic channels to ensure that the two Liberian Officials are accorded rights and privileges consistent with international law. Press Release

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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