About a fortnight after journalist Darlington
Pelenah of King’s FM and two other persons were arrested on suspicion of armed robbery, defense lawyers are insisting that the M-16 photograph, which police and prosecutors produced as FOC against the defendants in court was a “makeup”.
Mr. Pelenah along with William Randolph and Benjamin Gbartwo were charged for criminal conspiracy and armed robbery.
When hearings opened Tuesday at the Monrovia City Court, lead defense lawyer, Cllr. Dempster Brown argued that the photo produced in court was for an M-16 gun arrested from other suspected armed robbers, and not the defendants in the dock.
He claimed that state prosecutors and police were trying to makeup a case against the defendants by displaying stolen UNMIL weapons that have already been linked with other suspected armed robbers.
“They have no case against our clients. Moreover, the testimony of victim Weeks Thomas here today is a complete contradiction to his earlier statement to police that brought the charge against these defendants,” Cllr Brown further argued.
He insisted that state prosecutors having no case, were only making up a story against the defendants.
Defense lawyers commented after state prosecutors’ first witness Weeks Thomas accused journalist Pelenah and the two others of using M-16 and single-barrel guns to rob them on July 26 at their GSA Road resident in Paynesville.
Mr. Thomas testified in court that the suspects threatened them with guns before stealing his money. “My brother was shot in the process.”
Meanwhile, state prosecutors said they would produce more witnesses early next week to prove their case against Mr. Pelenah and his accomplices.
Journalist Darlington Pelenah along with William Randolph, Benjamin Gbartwo were charged with criminal conspiracy and armed robbery in violation of chapters 10, and 15 Sections 10.4 and 15.32 of the criminal law of Liberia, according to their charge sheet.