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“Gov’t Arrested The Wrong People” …Defense Lawyer Tells Jurors In US$100m Drug Case

By Grace Q. Bryant

Cllr. Wilkins Wright, representing the defense counsel in the ongoing US$100 million cocaine case in Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice, has claimed that the defendants, Malam Conte, Adulai Djibri, Djalo Makki Admeh Issam and Oliver A. Zayzay are all victims and were set up by the Government of Liberia.

According to him, the Liberia National Police along with the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) arrested the wrong people therefore he informed the jurors that the defendants were indicted on four counts of Money Laundering, Unlicensed Possession Of Controlled Drugs and Criminal Conspiracy.

In his theory of the case to the jury as was done by the prosecution few weeks before their first witness took the stand, Cllr. Wright said the prosecution did not tell the jurors when they took the witness stand anything about money laundering and how much money that the defendants took.

According to him, the defense will prove their case to the jurors who are judges of the fact and at the end of the trial; the defense will ask the jurors to bring down a not guilty verdict.

He said the defendants were indicted for these crimes but that the whole process is illegal and all the defendants are the victims instead. “These are the wrong people that they arrested; these are the small people that the government set up; they set these young people up and allowed other people to escape,” he said in his attempt to convince the jurors.”

According to Cllr. Wright, the evidences produced by the prosecutors are not sufficient enough beyond reasonable doubts to convict the defendants; as the information provided by the prosecution team was based upon information provided by the defendants.

He also pointed out that all the evidences that were brought in court by the prosecution were not provided to the defense for review.

Cllr. Wright said in this case, the defendants’ Miranda right was not explained to them.

However, he told the jurors that the prosecution also indicted the defendants for unlicensed possession of controlled drugs, but they did not arrest Malam Conte with any controlled substance.

According to him, the defense should have produced its first witness in person of Malam Conte but due to technical problems confronting the team of interpreters.

The prosecution produced six witnesses and rested on Monday April 10, 2023 with both oral and documentary evidence.  

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