Defendants Escape Prosecution In Bassa

By Lawrence T. Hoff, from Buchanan Grand Bassa

Several persons who were arrested recently for disturbance at the Radio Gbehzohn have escaped while they were being taken to prison after they were brought before the Magisterial Court in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County.   Defendants Solomon T. Kollie, Cyrus T. Watkins and Ruben T. Bannie were all charged with Theft of property, Criminal Mischief, Criminal Conspiracy and Disorderly Conduct.

Recently it was reported that normal activities at the station came to standstill when confusion ensued between some staffers of the station and supporters of Rep. Gabriel Smith, who is contesting the senatorial seat of the county. The incident reportedly destroyed some of the properties of the station.

Following the incident, the Representative denied neither ordering any of his supporters to attack the station, nor was he part of any disturbances at the station.

It was based on the disturbances at the station that the men were arrested and forwarded to the court for prosecution. However, because they failed to file a bond, they were ordered remanded to prison by the senior Magistrate, Samuel Brown.

Our correspondent said it was while taking them to prison that they fought the court officers and escaped.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Browne has issued a writ of arrest with immediate effect on the three defendants that violently escaped on the first day in court.

Magistrate Richard Browne said, co-defendant Rep. Gabriel B. Smith, District #3 lawmaker, who along with the others- defendants Solomon A. Kollie, Cyrus T. Watkins and Ruben Bannie were charged by the Liberia National Police Bassa Detachment for alleged crimes committed early Friday morning at Radio Gbehzohn and were forwarded to court.

Magistrate Browne, however, said, co-defendant Gabriel B. Smith did not appear in court for the hearing, which the state prays to have Gabriel B. Smith arrested, but that they don’t have the authority to arrest him, so the state will have to arrest him and turn him over to the court.

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