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Judge Smith Free 15 Pre-trial Detainees
Date Uploaded: Mar 31, 2014

udge  S. Geevon Smith of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court  in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County

 

 

Judge Smith Free 15 Pre-trial Detainees

By Chris Nyenapee, LINA Grand Gedeh Correspondent

ZWEDRU  CITY, March 31 (LINA) – The Seventh Judicial Circuit Court  in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, under  the  gavel  Judge  S. Geevon Smith has set free 15 pre-trial  detainees  from  the  National  Palace  of Corrections in  Zwedru.

A  letter  from  the  court  signed  by  Judge  Smith ordered   the  Director  of  the National  Palace  of  Corrections  to   release  the  fifteen  detainees from further  detention without  delay.

Nine of the 15 detainees were jailed for theft of property, while the rest were charged with crimes including rape, burglary and assault.

They  have  been  in  jail  for more  than  two  terms  of  court, something judicial staff and civil rights advocates like the Catholic Justice  and Peace Commission, Carter Center and Public Defender Mike Karngar have been raising concerns about.

Judge Smith  told  the  detainees in open  court, before setting them free, to see their release as an  opportunity  to  change  those bad  habits for which they were accused and sent to  jail.

“Those  who  accused  you,  have   failed  to  appear  and   prove  your  guilt,  and this has left  this  court  with no  other alternative but  to set  you  free. Go  and  sin  no  more, as  we can no longer keep you in detention away from your families without  having  your  day  in  court,’’ Judge Smith said.

The freed men all nodded in acceptance of the admonition from Judge Smith.

The National Palace of Corrections, intended to transform convicts, is holding a large number of pre-trial detainees, according to judicial sources. 

LINA/CTN/TSS/PTK

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