BUCHANAN, Liberia - Five Pakistani nationals are said to be in detention at the Monrovia Central Prison without charge or trial, but the Liberian government through the justice ministry is ruling out this as not a detention but merely a safe keeping, reported All Africa on Friday.
Following mounting pressure, the men were produced in court as prayed for by their lawyers.
Solicitor General Cllr Marcus Wilkins Wright who did not state the location of what he called “safe home” said the five foreign nationals were being kept in safe home, denying that they were in detention.
He informed the Criminal Court-A that four of the detained foreigners were victims of human-trafficking masterminded by one of them (detainees) identified as Mahommed Elias who has already been charged and is waiting at the Second Judicial Circuit in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
The Solicitor General’s statement came after lawyers representing the interest of the detainees filed a writ of habeas corpus against the government of Liberia, to compel government produce the living bodies of the individuals in open court.
Even-though, he did not tell the court as to why the government was detaining four of the five foreigners, he however noted that releasing them has national security implications as well as Liberia’s relations with Pakistan.
In response to the petition filed, the five Pakistanis were produced in open court on the order of Criminal Court-A Judge James W Zotaa, but were later ordered detained by Judge Zotaa.
The five foreign nationals who are currently been detained at the Monrovia Central Prison without been charged and yet to be tried, Judge Zotaa said in his ruling that said individuals have violated Liberia’s Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization laws.
According to Judge Zotaa, he lacks the jurisdiction to hear the said case which is presently before the Second Judicial Circuit in Buchanan City in Grand Bassa County.