LIBERIA: Vandalark Patricks’ Lawyers Filed Motion To Dismiss Libel Suit Against Him

MR. VANDALARK PARTICKS
MR. VANDALARK PARTICKS

(LINA) – Lawyers representing political activist Vandalark Patricks, who is on trial at the Criminal Court “A” for sedition and criminal libel against the President of Liberia, have filed a motion to dismiss the case against their client.

It can be recalled state security arrested Patricks in February for a statement he made in which he accused the Government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of being a strong proponent of lethal political violence against her political opponents to maintain state power.

In their motion Tuesday, the lawyers argued that the indictment against the defendant lacks the legal foundation to support an indictment.

The motion stated further that the defendant is a citizen of the Republic of Liberia and is entitled as a matter of right to certain inherent and inalienable rights guaranteed by the Constitution, which cannot be taken away, suspended or curtailed except in a manner provided by the Constitution.

The motion added, among other things, that the Constitution protects its citizens’ rights to freedom of thought and to hold opinions, conscience and expression, and that these rights can be only be limited by Constitutional provision.

“Movant prays court to grant motion by dismissing the indictment setting the movant free from further answering to the writ of arrest that brought him before the court, and ordering his bond returned to him and grant unto him further relief as the court may consider just, legal and reasonable under the facts and circumstances of this case,” the lawyers noted.

However, the prosecution countered, stating that while it is true that the defendant is a citizen of the Republic of Liberia and is entitled to certain inalienable rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the same constitution provides for trial of all persons who may come in conflict with the law as in this case where the defendant is said to have violated certain provisions of the law for which he has been indicted and is awaiting trial.

The prosecution prayed the court to deny and dismiss the unmeritorious, unfunded and baseless motion, and that the court will order the trial of the case on its merit and further grant any and all further relief which may seem just and equitable.

Meanwhile, Judge Boima Kontoe has reserved ruling in the motion for May 26, 2016.

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About Cholo Brooks 15607 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.