Five persons, including a senior police officer, were Friday found guilty of unlawful possession of narcotics and criminal facilitation by the Criminal Court “C” of the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
It took the Petit Jurors of four females and two males at least two hours of deliberation to unanimously find Police Officer Perry Dolo, Mohammed Bah, Augustine Saah, Sekou Rogers and Cyrus Slawon, guilty of the crimes, according to the Liberia News Agency.
It will be recalled the five were arrested with 10 bags of marijuana valued at L$3 million at the Tienne checkpoint in Grand Cape Mount County using a police presidential escort vehicle at 2:00 a.m. on November 9, 2013.
Following police preliminary investigation during which the accused denied the charges levied against them, the trial began at the Criminal Court “C” early this year.
During closing argument earlier, lead prosecutor Theophilus Gould told the jurors “to put the country first” and come up with a guilty verdict, because “these guys are guilty of the crimes.”
Defense Counsel Arthur Johnson cautioned the jurors not to be carried away by others’ sentiments, but to find the accused not guilty because “there were no evidences to find them guilty.”
Presenting the case to the jurors for deliberation, Judge Yusuf Kaba, told them not to be moved by the presentations of both prosecution and defense lawyers, but peruse the documents and other evidence “very closely” and render a judgment shy of partiality.
However, after two hours of deliberation in the jury room, the jurors came down with a unanimous verdict against all the defendants.
While Counselor Gould hailed the verdict, on the other hand, Atty. Johnson said that his clients’ rights were violated during police investigation into the case, adding that the defense team will meet to decide the next course of action in the interest of their clients.
Meanwhile, Judge Kaba has said final verdict in the case will be rendered on Thursday, August 14, 2014.