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Darlington George to be cleared?

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Darlington victim Esther NDReports reaching the NewDawn surrounding an ongoing criminal investigation against suspect Darlington George, the dismissed former deputy director of the Executive Protection Service or EPS, appear to be suggesting uncertainty over whether or not the disgraced former presidential guard could face charges for allegedly ordering brutality against an unarmed female.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf dismissed Mr. George and ordered that he face investigation at the Justice Ministry after the incident drew public concerns over how prepared is the security sector here to deal with citizens upon a complete UNMIL drawdown.

After being handed over to criminal investigators last week at the Liberia National Police where suspect George had served as an authority before being appointed Deputy Director of the EPS, well placed police sources claimed victim Esther Glain and her counsel Atty. Koffi Woods are yet to produce one witness beside what the complainant had said, but the suspect has already provided six witnesses so far.

On Sunday afternoon, police authorities issued an update on the status of the investigation into the alleged assault claims against Mr. George, saying they were “exerting efforts to have witnesses of the incident from both parties avail themselves in furtherance of the investigation.”

So far the investigators said they have obtained statements from both complainant Esther Glain and suspect Darlington George. “The incident scene has been visited on three occasions to find evidence of the encounter and to locate and identify witnesses including visitation to the hospital,” the police said in a statement.

The police claim that victim Glain’s lawyer Atty. Woods “has intimated to the investigation that she is resting in continuation of her medical treatment due to the injury sustained.” But during a follow-up with Atty. Woods Sunday via mobile phone, he told the NewDawn he will appropriately challenge all that the police are doing at the appropriate time, arguing that the victim had already named witnesses in a statement she signed before investigators and it was the duty of the police to have the witnesses appear to testify.

Atty. Woods said he expects equal treatment before the law from the police and the Government of Liberia without preference to anyone. Atty. Woods said his client underwent X-Ray at SOS and is still undergoing treatment, adding that she could not abandon treatment and die in trying to run after witnesses that she has already named to the police.

“She was at the police station on Thursday when she wrote her statement and they interview her and she signed the statement and she named people. So how can they say she refused to produce witnesses?” he questioned.

Atty. Woods insisted that the police have the responsibility to go and look for those named by victim Glain, saying “the girl is sick, she has to be treated.” However, police say they are still awaiting medical report from the medical facility where she is undergoing treatment to determine the extent of the injury sustained and the cause of the injury. Investigation in the case begun on 17 September 2015, after the Justice Ministry handed suspect George over to the LNP on 16 September.

By Winston W. Parley – Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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