LIBERIA: Supreme Court Sets Free Hans, Madia Williams

The Supreme Court on Friday “set aside and reversed” the guilty verdict handed down on Hans Capehart Williams and Madia Pakue Williams by a lower court on March 10, 2010.

According to the Liberia News Agency, both Hans and Madia were found guilty by a trial jury at the Criminal Court “A” at the Temple of Justice for murdering little Angel Togba in 2007, and had since been imprisoned at the Monrovia Central Prison.

Delivering the Supreme Court’s opinion in the case, Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor said under the law every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused with such legal certainty and beyond a reasonable doubt.

He added if the charge against the accused is based on circumstantial evidence, such evidence so linked as to positively connect to a chain of events sufficient to lead the mind irresistibly to the conclusion that the accused is the guilty party.

He stated that in the case, the accused is charged with murder, a capital offense, so the prosecution is required to established the cause of death attributable to the accused, otherwise the accused is entitled to acquittal.

“That in the instant case, the prosecution failed to meet these mandatory threshold standards for the conviction of Hans Capehart Williams and Madia Pakue Williams, the appellants in this case,” Chief Justice Korkpor said, adding “Hence, the appellants are entitled to acquittal.”

“Whereas and in view of the foregoing, the final verdict of the trial court entered on March 10, 2010, adjudging the appellants guilty of the charge of murder, being contrary to the weight of the evidence adduced at the trial is hereby set aside and reversed.

“The appellants are immediately released from further detention at the Monrovia Central Prison and their constitutional statutory and civil rights, liberties and all other rights are hereby restored.”

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Korkpor has announced the closure of the court for its March Term of Court with Justice Sie-Nyene G. Yuoh sitting as Justice-in- Chamber.

The court is expected to re-open on the first Monday of October 2014 for its October term of court.

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