Criminal Court D at the Temple of Justice in 2014 sentenced 13 Liberians who were arrested and charged with the crime terroristic threat in neighboring Ivory Coast in 2011.
The 13 Liberians hailed from Grand Gedeh County where they were also arrested for their alleged involvement in subversive activities in Ivory Coast. They were brought to Monrovia for the adjudication of the case after being charged with being mercenaries.
In 2014 a six-man jury rendered the 13 men guilty of the crime of being mercenaries after more than four hours of arguments between the prosecution and defense counsels. Six of the nine-member jury overwhelmingly came down with a verdict that the 13 men were guilty of the crime.
The Supreme Court held an appeal hearing for 13 mercenaries who have been convicted and sentenced to life in prison by the Lower Court.
Out of the 19 defendants initially indicted by Criminal Court 'D', five were set free for lack of evidence, while one was allowed bail before the trial, leaving the remaining 13 to be found guilty after the trial.
The High Court appeal hearing came after lawyers representing the 13 defendants objected to the lower court's lifetime sentence, after the jury found the men guilty in a unanimous verdict rendered in December 2013 following the end of their trial.
In an interview with reporters at his Capitol Building Office on Monday Representative Chambers said the protracted detention of the 13 Grand Gedeans undermines reconciliation in the country, hence the President should now pardon and release them.
The Maryland lawmaker observed that the release of the detainees will further enhance national reconciliation and foster peace and harmony in the wake of the departure of international security force under the aegis of UNMIL.
Representative Chambers who chaired the Houses Committee on National Defense and Security underscored the need for total reconciliation, and urged the Executive Mansion to release the Grand Gedeans which will further enhance relation between President Sirleaf and the people of Grand Gedeh County.
He observed that due to the prolonged detention of the 13 Grand Gedeans many citizens of the county are not happy with the Government, and noted that this could impede the reconciliation gains the government has made over the years.
Representative Chambers further called on meaningful Liberians to join him and ask for clemency for the 13 Liberians that are living behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison commonly called ‘South Beach’ on Center Street in Monrovia.