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GeneralLiberia news

MICAT boss disappointed over loss of US$100m Cocaine case

By Kruah Thompson

The Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism (MICAT), Ledgerhood Julius Rennie is dismayed over jurors’  not guilty verdict handed down recently in the US$100 million drug bust trial by Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice, presided over by Judge A. Blamo Dixon.

Minister Rennie condemns the verdict, suggesting that there might be misinformation or a deliberate attempt by certain individuals to portray the prosecution team negatively by claiming they did not perform their duties adequately.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information on Capitol Hill, he notes that evidence presented by the Joint Security of Liberia was transparent, real, convincing, and sufficient to secure a conviction hence, the not-guilty verdict announced by Judge Dixon was surprising and disappointing.

According to him, evidence presented during the trial included drugs, tracking numbers, and boxes found with the defendants, as well as CCTV footage of transactions involving them.

The MICAT boss argues that the evidence was strong enough to ensure a possible conviction, but the jury chose to plead not guilty, which perplexed him.

He expresses disappointment, stating that he thought the defendants would exhaust all legal means to cover up their alleged crimes, and wonders why the defendants fled the country if they truly believe they were innocent.

Rennie thinks that Judge Dixon may have made an incorrect decision, speculating that the judge may have been influenced by the possibility of losing the money confiscated from the defendants if he had returned a guilty verdict.

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While acknowledging the need to move forward, he notes that the not guilty verdict brought shame to Liberia, as it hinders the country’s efforts to join international partners in the fight against drug trafficking.

The government chief spokesman calls for a collective commitment from all branches of government to ensure that Liberia’s laws are robust and impartial.

In October last year, a significant shipment of 520 kilograms of Cocaine with a street value of approximately US$100 million was seized by the Joint Security of Liberia with international collaboration involving American and Brazilian authorities.

However, the outcome of the judicial process, which resulted to the release of all four suspects, has left senior officials of the Weah government surprised with some describing it as worrisome and shameful.

Some individuals are doubting whether the government presented a strong case or if there was ample evidence to prove the charges against the suspects.

They also question whether the government was mindful of the implications of making such claims and then failing to secure convictions against those that were indicted. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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