Trial Of 18 Suspected Mercenaries Postponed Again
By Comfort Johnson, Intern
MONROVIA, March 19 (LINA) -The trial of 18 accused mercenaries was Wednesday postponed again by the Criminal Court ‘D’ at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
The trial, which should have started with opening arguments from both prosecution and defense counsels, is now slated to commence at the court on Thursday, according to Presiding Judge Emery Paye.
According to the Liberia News Agency, Judge Paye said the decision is predicated on the difficulty the court is facing in recruiting jurors.
He said communications were sent out to the various judges of Criminal Courts "A”, “B" and "C" respectively, to provide jurors who are already trained in order to hear the case.
He added that Judge Yusuf Kaba of Criminal Court "A" was the only judge who responded by sending 18 jurors, who were eventually rejected by both the prosecuting and defense counsels, on grounds that they were not qualified to sit on the jury.
The other judges did not comply, Judge Paye said.
Judge Paye said he sent out another communication on Wednesday to the various township commissioners requesting "good and law-abiding citizens", to serve as jurors for the trial of the suspected mercenaries, adding "but up to this time we have not received any information from them."
It can be recalled that the 18 alleged mercenaries were accused of involvement in cross-border attacks during the internal political upheaval in neighboring La Cote d’Ivoire, between 2010 and 2011, which resulted to the death of several persons, including seven United Nations soldiers.