Monday, November 3, 2014

And where should this case be prosecuted?

An aide to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia has been charged with larceny by a civilian court. The alleged offense involved the use of military personnel who were said to have helped cart off a lawyer's property from a private warehouse. According to this report:
Recently, the court communicated with Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai to disrobe and subsequently turn over Major [Kelulee] Gwasa for prosecution.
It is not clear whether the Ministry will honor the request of the court to try defendant Gwasa under said charge.
According to the New National Defense Act of 2008, offenses committed by members of the AFL are covered under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (U[CM]J).
These offenses, as well as their corresponding punishments, are dealt with by a court martial. 
A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.
It also has the authority to try a wide range of military offenses, many of which closely resemble civilian crimes like fraud, theft or perjury.
For a U.S. backgrounder on Liberian military justice, click here

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