Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The New Rape Law Minus Non-bailable Clause Is Good

...Don't Allow Rape Be a Pull-down Instrument

Hi Rodney,

Firstly, I write the to establishe the flaws of the new rape law and as well to state how dragonian it is. Let me mention that the new Rape Law is has become instrument for revenge against people. Several others who do not have the means to fight rape cases are languishing behind bars at the Monrovia central Prison without trial simply because one landlord or some adversary use rape to settle scores. dozens of them on rape charges do not have the opportunity to be heard because of the sentiment factor and the negligence on the part of the state to prosecute them. Some have over stayed from six months to two years.

Some of them, like it was in my case may be innocently accused. And all because rape is not bailable, the suffer innocently as they are dumped behind bars. This attitude defy justice and the rule of law, which is on the lips of this government; and unless people accused are tried expeditiously, the quest for justice will just amount to lipservice and a deceit that has the propensity to mislead the international community about good governance which cannot obtain in the absence of justice.

It is no doubt that rape is heinous and deserves harsh punishment. But it is now used to witch-haunt because the accused will be tied down in prison without the opportunity to fight back at his defense simply because he is not entitle to bail. Some people have no real relatives or family to fight for them. They fight for themselves when they are accused. being accused for a crime that is not bailable - like murder or treason - as in the case of this proliferated rape charges paralyzes his ability defend himself against his accusers.

I therefore conclude here that the new rape law must be reviewed so as to give it a new dimension that will prevent criminal-minded individuals from using the crime, rape, to ternish the reputation of innocent people simply they want them destroyed or because they want them perpetually imprison.

This was the situation with me recently when I was thrown into the Monrovia Central Prison on the Rape/Sodomy Charges orchestrated against me by those who want to see me destroyed or kept in jailed. But thank God that my innocence is being established, and God that knoweth and seeth all things will continue to plead my cause and vendicate me.

My dissatisfaction

But I must register my dislike of how FrontPageAfrica initially
treated me when Sorbor George who is petty about me for material things, things which I have acquired through hard work, masterminded allegations of Rape/Sodomy against me. the FPA went about placing my name on the internet when you Rodney was in Monrovia and could have contacted me at the Cetral Prison or my family through Josephus Moses Gray to get a better understanding of the situation.

In the first place, the little girl who is the victim at every forum testified not my name, but that of on Lincoln who she said abused her in a Video club. She even made this very testimony to the Chief Justice when the Police took her to court for the first time in front of a mammoth crowd. It was the girl's mother Janjan who was being used by Sorbor George and the Chief Justice to accused me. Even when she was being coerced to testify my name at the Criminal Court "B" by Judge Evelyna Quaqua, she was convicted by the Spirit of God through my innocence to tha bursted in tears and refusing to say a words.

Preliminary investigation at the City Court was consistently avoided for the three weeks I spent in jail by magistrate Moses Sondah M. Wondah because starting such hearing would have resulted to my release from detention even before the day they release me. All these travesty of justice was meted to me because the Rape/Sodomy Charges were pronounced against me by Chief Justice Johnny Lewis who ordered the magistrate to serve the arrest warrant against me.

For that same reason the Criminal Court "B" Judge who I thought could give me justice avoided handing down ruling requesting admittance to bail in favor of me for lack of evidence; the judge and the girl's instead was coercing the girl to call my name as her abuser, but God maintained my innocence and little Love Samuels bursted in tears and could not incriminate me.

It was against this background my lawyer revoked the Motion for defendant Jarkloh's Admittance to Bail for lack of evidence which State prosecutors did not also oppose, thereby remitting the case back to the City Court where the nolle prosequoi was filed in my favor thereby releasing me from further detention.

As we speak, the police have reported and it came to is my hearing that Police Investigation mentioned another persion other than Bill Jarkloh. By the grace of jehovah God who knoweth all things and says by the truth we shall be set free, I am convinced that this has laid the issue to rest against me.

Bill K. Jarkloh
Information Officer/Ghana Embassy or
Call: 231-6-544-286-
Monrovia -Liberia
Court Acquits Journalist Jarkloh of Rape, Sodomy Charges
... Nolle Prosequoi Filed

06/10/08 - FPA Staff Report

Monrovia -

Prosecuting lawyers for the Liberian government in the Rape case - Bill Jarkloh Vs. Republic of Liberia - have entered a Plea Of “Nolle Prosequoi” thus clearing Journalist Bill Jarkloh all the charges of rape and sodomy brought against him recently by the family of a 8 years old child.

The Plea Of “Nolle Prosequoi” followed journalist Jarkloh pleaded for his temporary release from prison based on the lack of sufficient evidence to prosecute him.

Free for now: Journalist Bill Jarkloh

On May 13, Journalist Jarkloh was issued a writ of arrest by the Monrovia City Court for allegedly committing rape and sodomy as was claimed by mother of an eight-year old girl, Janjay who said the crime took place at Bill's Perry Street residence.

However, such plea allows prosecution the time to reserve the right to re-file the case should the need arise in keeping with section 18.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law. The Assistant County Attorney, Witness Doyen, last Friday filed a plea of “nolle prosequoi” without prejudice before the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice after the case had been scheduled for preliminary hearings on the same day.

A nolle prosequi may be entered either in a criminal or a civil case. In criminal cases, a nolle prosequi may be entered at any time before the finding of the grand jury, and generally after a true bill has been found. No nolle prosequi can also be entered after a bill has been found, without leave of the court, except in cases of assault and battery, fornication and bastardy, on agreement between the parties, or in prosecutions for keeping tippling houses.

A nolle prosequi may be entered as to one or several defendants. The effect of a nolle prosequi, when obtained, is to release the defendant without day, but it does not operate as an acquittal; for he may be afterwards reindicted, and even upon the same indictment, fresh process may be awarded.

Journalist Jarkloh had since expressed his innocence but family members of the survivor are still protesting that the minor did identify Bill as the doer of the crime. Hearings into the case had been experiencing hitches since it was first issued a notice of assignment which was scheduled by the court on May 27, 2008 due to what the defense lawyer cited as no police charge sheet’ to serve as the court’s document that should indict the accused.

Meanwhile, according to the law, a case wherein the proof is not evident and presumption is not grave, the suspect can be set free either on bail or the prosecution can nolle prosequoi the case, requesting time to gather all evidence thereby evoking section 18.1 of the criminal procedure law.

No conclusion yet, prosecutors say

But for the case of rape which is nonbaillable, prosecution says such plea gives them the right to request for time so as to inquire from the police regarding the report of the full scale investigation earlier conducted into Bill’s case. Police has already reported to state prosecutors with the name of Journalist Jarkloh mentioned nowhere in it. It instead linked one Lincoln who ploice quoted Love as saying raped her in a video club in the night.

Prosecution further said that the case has not yetreached its conclusion therefore they have advised the aggrieved party to appear today to continue the process of first establishing who the suspect is and to sort out other new evidence if possible.

The case was issued a notice of assignment over four times by the Monrovia City Court under the gavel of Associate Magistrate Wondah Sondah but because of the court’s failure to begin said hearings, the defense prayed that the case be transferred to an upper court that has similar jurisdiction over said matters.

The case was turned over to Court “B” under the gavel of Judge Evelyna Quaqua who also scheduled the case for last Friday at which time she was expected to give ruling since the prosecution had earlier informed the City Court that there was no sufficient court document to prosecute the case.

But to the dismay of both parties, the Court ‘B’ Judge could not appear at the time set to call the case while the parties waited in the court room. When reporters engaged her in her chambers, she told them that she had decided to reserve her ruling due to her personal judgment which is in the interest of both parties and that she was awaiting orders.

The defense lawyer, apparently, out of patience that his client would have spent another weekend in prison based on Judge Quaqua’s decision returned the case to the City Court where prosecution was granted the right to evoke section 18.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law.

Meanwhile, Jarkloh, since his release from prison has continued to profess his innocence of the charges.

Maintaining innocence

"The fact remains that “I am innocent, and I am being humiliated by a conspiracy masterminded and championed by Sorbor George”, a reporter of Star Radio in Monrovia. Mr. George and I lived in the same building but in separate apartments. Besides, he said, “the conspiracy against him is also being masterminded by officials of the court," Jarkloh told FrontPageAfrica Tuesday.

Jarkloh says that the Magistrate was instructed by someone at the helm of power, the Chief Justice of Liberia, to deny him and his fiancée Korpo S. Kortimai, a daughter of former deputy Commerce Minister Professor Lavela B. Kortimai bail because "he and enemies of progress want Korpo and I to be brought to the South Beach together disgraced for a good we did. But God says “the truth that is buried shall rise again,” Jarkloh added.

Jarkloh says the crux of the matter is that one Janjay, said to be a mother of eight-year-old “Tenesee” (Love) Samuels abandoned Love for more than one month and chased her out of their residence. "This minor was sleeping in street corners, video clubs and under market stalls. Love told Korpo, human right activist/personnel, how one Lincoln had abused her at a video club in the middle of the night."

Thereafter, he said, a lady rescued her and turned her over to Korpo as people in the community usually do when an abandoned or abused child was found. "Korpo Kortimai, as usual, took “Love” to Love’s “mother” Janjay but Janjay told Korpo that because she Janjay didn’t want Love to run from the house again, (Korpo) should keep the child and counsel her. But looking at the poor health situation, Korpo had reported this minor to the Women and Children Protection Unit of the LNP (Central). Love was processed at the police Headquarters and taken to a “Safe Home," Jarkloh says. But a week later, according to Jarkloh, Janjay started to grumble Korpo to see the “Safe Home”, apparently thinking that sending Love there is for pecuniary gain to Korpo and her household. And because there are already envious people in the community that Korpo and I live, they have now connived; saying that my charming spouse, Korpo, “kidnapped” Love while I raped and sodomized the little girl.

Jarkloh alleges that the police investigation regarding the abandonment and raping of Love was ignored for whatsoever interest to order the issuance of a writ of arrest against him for “SODOMY/RAPE” without a police charge sheet; at the same time, warning Attorney Doyen who is insisting on outcome of police investigation to keep off the matter. "Instead, Justice Johnnie Lewis said he preferred Attorney Sam T. Solomon to use Janjay and my enemies to incarcerate me at the Monrovia Central Prison (South Beach) without the police report on the case and medical documents (report) to establish their claims against me."

Looking back on the ordeal, Jarkloh laments that a good deed turned into a personal tragedy. "My fiancée and I have been good to Love and her mother. Unfortunately, our kindness has turned into bad and we are being paid with false charges just to destroy our hard earned reputation and characters."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Journalist Jarkloh Charged With Rape, But Says He's Innocent

Journalist Bill Jarkloh has been held for allegedly raping and subsequently sodomizing an eight-year old girl, Love Samuels, but the journalists says he is innocent. The Fiancee of the journalists was aleso accused of kidnapping Love little Love Samuels, but police investigating exonerated both Journalists Jarkloh and his fiancee, human rights personnel Korpo S. Kortimai from the rape and kidnap charges.

Police instead said Love Samuels' parents have always abandoned her in the streets leaving her vulnerable, and added that it was Ms. Kortimai, the assistant coordinator of ZODWOCA Inc, a local women and children rights and empoweerment NGO, who reported Love to police and requested that the Child be rehabilitated.

Love also told Police investigators that she was abused by one Lincoln in a video club while under the cover of darkness,meaning that she was raped by Lincoln and not Journalist Bill Jarkloh as alleged by a one Janjay, sauid to be the mother of Love.

Mr. Jarkloh said the allegation by Janjay against him was masterminded by one Sorbor George working with the STAR Radio and was made manifest to bear on him by the Chief Justice of Liberia, His Honor Johnny Lewis. The Journaslist said he was misrepresented by Sorbor George to Chief Justice Lewis through the Chief Justice's driver who was seen in George's residence on the morning Journalist Jarkloh and his fiancee were arrested for the charges against them.

Accordingly, Chief Justice Lewis unethically came down from the top floor of the Temple of Justice Building which contains his office and the Supreme Court to the Monrovia City Court on the ground floor of the building and instructed the Magistrate, Moses Wondah M. Sondah and the City Solicitor Sam Theo Solomon to issue a writ of arrest against Journalist Jarkloh in the absence of a police charge sheet, saying that the police is corrupt.

The Chief Justice also called at the Magistrate's chamber, the Montserrado County Attorney Samuel Jacobs and Assistant County Attorney Witness Doyen not to interfere with the matter. "You see, I can walked into the offices of the Minister of Justrice unlike you. If you interfere with this matter against him, I will not like it," the Chief Justice warned the two prosecutors. he said it was his expectation that the Solicitor Sam T. Solomon single-handedly prosecute Journalist Jarkloh.

Journalist Jarkloh, a one-time winner of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) Feature Writer Award, was then detained at the Monrovia Central Prison was for three weeks three-days until state prosecutors, through the intervention of the journalist's legal counsel, Human Rights Lawyer, Cllr. T. Dempster Browne, filed a nolle prosequoi thereby droping charges against the journalist for lack of evidence
He is presently a consultant at the Vision Newspaper and the Communication Officer at the Ghanaian Embassy in Monrovia.


Liberia: Journalist Bill Jarkloh Speaks From Prison
The Inquirer (Monrovia)
Posted to the web 28 May 2008

Journalist Bill Jarkloh who was recently accused and charged with rape and sodomy has denied his involvement in the act and termed the allegation as false, with the intent to tarnish his good reputation he has built over the years.

The accused journalist, who was reacting from the prison on Tuesday, explained that he is innocent and that he was humiliated by a conspiracy masterminded and championed by another journalist, Sorbor George, who reports for Star Radio in Monrovia.

When contacted via phone on Tuesday, Mr. Sorbor George said he does not wish to dignify such an allegation, which he termed as "trash."

The accused journalist, in his communication, alleged that the conspiracy was also being conducted against him through the Chief Justice of Liberia and Magistrate Moses Wondah M. Sondah of the Monrovia City Court, in collaboration with Sam T. Solomon, City Solicitor at the City Court.

"I'm appealing to the Press Union of Liberia to kindly press for a speedy and fair trial. If I committed a crime, I should be fairly prosecuted and not to be kept in detention for a protracted period without justice being done. Let me have my days in court and face justice. I'm hungry for justice; I am demanding a speedy trial," Bill stated with frustration. Meanwhile, the accused who appeared for the first time in court yesterday has been granted a motion for preliminary hearings on Friday.

The lawyers of the accused request stemmed from information from the Monrovia City Court that there was no police charge sheet to have him indicted from the onset therefore the preliminary hearings will afford the accused the opportunity to explain in court whether he actually perpetrated the act or not.

Liberia: Ghanaian Embassy On Journalist Jarkloh Arrest
The Inquirer (Monrovia) 22 May 2008
Posted to the web 22 May 2008
By: Patrick K. Wrokpoh

The Ghanaian Embassy near Monrovia has for the first time spoken on the arrest and subsequent detention of its Public Relations Officer, Bill Jarkloh, who has been accused of rape.

The Ambassador of Ghana, Francis Adu- Amanfoh said the Embassy is not intervening in the matter and is allowing the laws of Liberia to take its course.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday when he was asked about the issue in Grand Cape Mount County, where he had traveled with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to participate in a three- day cabinet retreat, the Ghanaian Ambassador said it is the understanding of the Embassy that criminal investigation is being carried out in the matter and results of his understanding over the matter suggest that the allegation against the Embassy's Public Relations Officer is untrue.

"If the allegation is not true, I am expecting that the laws of the land should take its course," he said. He added that if the allegation is not true, the accused journalist should be given his right.

Asked whether in the wake of the latest accusation he can guarantee the accused job with the Embassy, Ambassador Amanfoh said: "As long as no court of law has found him guilty of any offense, he has a job. I do not have any problem with that at all."
Late last month, reports surfaced in Monrovia that journalist Bill Jarkloh, a one- time winner of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) Feature Writer Award, was accused of raping and sodomizing an eight-year old girl on Perry Street, where he also resides. The journalist has since denied the claim.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Amanfoh has admonished Ghanaians living in Liberia to regularize at all times their immigration status by registering with the Liberian immigration authority.

He said things have changed over the years and it is now a matter of must that people from elsewhere who want to live in another country to respect and follow the immigration laws, something which he noted his Embassy has embarked upon a campaign to Ghanaians wanting to stay in Liberia.