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Video evidence unavailable -to aid police officer’s burning trial

Prosecutors failed to secure a video recording that could have most likely aided trial into the burning to death of late Police Officer Amos Tutu from private broadcast house Power Television Station which had appeared under a court subpoena to provide the video in the case ongoing at the Criminal Court “A”.

The late Officer Tutu of the Police Support Unit of the Liberia National Police was allegedly burnt to death on September 27, 2010 by angry mob on Capitol Bye-pass over claims that he shot and killed one Preston Davis. Power TV Executive Director Mr. Aaron Kollie told the court Thursday that the broadcast house no longer has in its possession the recording requested.

Mr. Kollie confirmed yesterday that Power TV covered the incident on September 27, 2010 and subsequently televised it on the evening news. But Mr. Kollie said the station did not have in place “news storage system,” considering the low quality of technology employed in the recording system – “using VHS cassette” or which is a standard for consumer-level of analog recording on video tape cassette.

“All news event broadcast in the year 2009 leading into 2010 cannot be accounted for. However sad that this, it is only in subsequent years that we were able to put in place a new storage system to account for all current events,” he told the court yesterday.

The subpoenaed witness said police made no formal communication with the entity for the submission of the video recording relating to the Bye-pass incident, though he insisted that “our response would have [been] the same” non-availability of the recording if the police had requested for it “because of the lack of storage facility then.”

Jurors in Montserrado County indicted several persons relating to the burning to death of Officer Tutu, including defendants Kwame Akakpo, Aaron Lackay, Nicholas Wleh, Mitchel Davis, Patrick Davis, Paul Andrews and Matthews and others on August 13, 2010. The angry mob allegedly spilled gasoline on Officer Tututand set him ablaze in reaction to claims that shot and killed Preston Davis. At least two of the defendants were seen in court during Thursday’s hearing.

By Winston W. Parley – Edited by Jonathan Browne

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