At least 18 inmates were released on probation yesterday at the Criminal Court “C”, while seven others were denied probation to face regular trial.
Those granted probation by the court at the Temple of Justice were Sunday Mayor, Joe Torfee, Mardi Barry Frederick Byebu, Joe Cooper, Chris Nimely, Francis Kollie, Mohammed Kromah and Darious Dahn.
Others are Moses Sackie, Prince Kolleh, Emmanuel Flomo, Tomo Kuyon, Jeremiah Tawo, as well as Junior Freeman, Prince Kaba, Rubin Kerkula and Varmuyan Kromah.
However, two others- Oumaru Konneh and Jerry Kpor, were reported have been released earlier, raising the total number of released inmates to twenty.
Those released on probation were facing separate charges, including burglary, robbery and misapplication of entrusted property and theft of property.
The seven inmates denied were Emmanuel George, William Toe, Prince Korva, Marcus Franciah, Emmanuel Karimu, Moses Andderson and Lennard Swen.
The prosecution represented by Assistant Montserrado County Attorney Tamba Gborie objected to the seven defendants because, according to him, investigation revealed that they were a threat to the security of the society.
Charges separately drawn against the seven defendants include burglary, misapplication of entrusted property, robbery and theft of property.
But defense lawyers, including Attorney David Woah augmented by “freshman” legal Counsel George Kalando pleaded for the court to grant and release all of the 27 defendants, on grounds that they did not have prior criminal records.
Citing 1CLR Title 2 Chapter 33 Section 33.1 Subsection 1(g) through (k), among others as reliance for argument, Counsel Woah begged the court to release all of the defendants taking into consideration their admittance to the crimes, their family responsibilities, as well as their preparedness not to repeat their mistakes.
But State lawyer Attorney Gborie contended that the dispensation of justice did not allow sentiments and sympathy to override justice, citing Chapter 33 Section 23.1 page 405 paragraph (a), (b) and (c).
But taking into consideration the security of the state, Criminal Court “C” Judge Peter Gbenewleh ruled that the seven individuals were not suitable to be granted probation.
Judge Gbenewleh said: “the court is mindful of the security of the state and will not place these individuals on probation: Emmanuel George, William Toe, Jr., Moses Anderson, Marcus Franciah, Prince Korva, Lennard Swen Emmanuel Karimu.”
Releasing the 20 other defendants, the judge recalled that on August 17, 2012, the movants (defendants) filed two separate motion for probation growing out of the case, burglary and misapplication of entrusted property and theft of property, in which they argued that they had been jailed at Monrovia Central Prison without being asked to plead as to their guilt or innocence since their arrests at separate dates.
He, however, warned the released individuals that they could be arrested and jailed if they returned to committing crimes.