By Welemongai Ciapha, ll
MONROVIA-Forty-one persons suspected of rioting have been charged with multiple crimes by the Sanniquellie Magisterial Court in Nimba County.
The ‘rioters’ were arrested in connection with a violent protest last week in Zolowee, Nimba County, which left millions of dollars worth of property damaged.
The protesters had taken to the street in demand of benefits reportedly owed them by AcellorMittal.
The suspects were brought to Monrovia, but are said to have been detained beyond 48 hours which prompted LAWYERS to file a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus against the Liberian Government.
The 41 suspects were produced at the Civil Law Court Wednesday. However, following hearing into the petition for a Writ of Habeas, the defendants were rearrested and immediately charged with rioting, armed robbery, among others.
Plaintiff by and through the Government of Liberia alleged that on July 3, 2014, “the defendants without any color of right whatsoever, did unlawfully took arms against the workers of Mittal Steel shoot at them as well as some officers of the Liberia National Police.”
According to a Writ of Arrest, the incident occurred at the Mittal Steel concession area, situated within Zolowee Mountain, Tarkadeh Junction in Sanniquellie Mah District.
The Government of Liberia noted that as a result of the shooting, some police officers allegedly sustained bodily injuries.Government claimed properties looted or damaged are estimated at over US$40,000,000.
According to the writ, vehicles and heavy equipment allegedly set ablaze by the defendants are also valued at over US$2 million.The defendants are expected to be transferred back to Nimba County to answer to the charges levied against them by the Liberian Government. News Newspaper