A Comunication Issued By The Resilient Council of Elders of Grand Bassa County
This letter solicits financial support to defray the cost of the transportation, feeding, related cost and especially the legal cost of defending the good name and lives of subsistence farmers and a public school principal indicted for murder, from all persons of good will. All these persons are accused of pulling the trigger of a single barrel gun that killed a Belgium national who at the time was Manager of the Liberian Agricultural Company (LAC). We make this appeal to all persons of good will because we believe the state has no grounds exposing persons to continuous harassment, long prison terms in Liberia’s notorious jails and probably death by hanging. Who many the indictees shot the shot that killed the victim? Did all of them pull the one trigger? Why did the state not investigate the LAC employees who accompanied the victim on that day? What is the evidence that places the accused at the murder scene when the Belgium was killed?
Background to Republic of Liberia vs. Arthur Crusoe et al in case: Murder
The case Republic of Liberia vs. Arthur Crusoe et al: Murder seems to be the political leadership’s strategy of alienating the peace loving people of Gianda from their ancestral land. The roots of the case lie in the refusal of the people of Grand Bassa County’s District #4 to allow the Liberian Agricultural Company to illegally grab some 600,000 acres of their ancestral land, evict them summarily and deprive them of their livelihood, make them an internal refugee.
The Gianda people’s refusal to be driven off their land dates to an agreement between Liberia and LAC, signed in 1959. On August 24, 2006, then Minister of Justice and Attorney General Frances Johnson-Morris, in her letter to President Sirleaf, wrote:
“…it clear to me that issue (sic) involved in the dispute between LAC and the people of Grand Bassa County is both legal and political.”
Attorney General Johnson-Morris advised the present that, regarding the legal issue, Article II of the 1959 Agreement was clear:
“Therefore, the eviction of the citizens from their villages and the expansion of LAC is arbitrary as it is not supported by the agreement.”
Towards this arbitrary land grab, LAC dispatched an estimated fifteen workers with the Belgium to survey the people’s land. Following the death allegedly from the gun shot, the workers who had accompanied the Belgium returned to report that their boss “was missing”. Liberia has failed investigate the issues: did they hear the gun shot? Where were the workers when the gun was fired? What did those accompanying the victim see: movement of people?
The circumstances outlined above simply introduce the prelude to this veritable comedy. State security agencies failed to establish the whereabouts of each of the individuals later indicted at the time the victim was killed; they failed to investigate those who had accompanied the victim. Fast forward to the trial at the court in Bassa. Near the end of the trial, the then Chief Justice of Liberia, in a unusual position of informant, told the trial judge that the sequestered jury had been tampered with. The trial judge then declared a missed trial. We, the authors of this letter, are not lawyers but played roles in drafting the current Constitution and therefore appreciate that 1986 Constitution proscribes double jeopardy
The people accused of murdering this Caucasian have lived with whites and showed no phobia. During the 1930s, Clan Chief Geabar Zondo with the elders and people of upper District Number 4 welcomed white missionaries from North America who subsequently established Christian churches and a school in their clan; for years, the people of the clan lived peacefully with white people. That is, for nearly a century our people have lived and befriend peoples of all colors for our people strongly believe that a good name is to be desired above all riches. Despite that record, evil minded persons have, since (2007 when Bruno Michaels was killed), conspired to tarnish the good name of a people who live eking by subsistence farming, a difficult living with the sweat of their brows.
Following the as yet uninvestigated murder of the Belgium Bruno Michaels, evil people conspired and accused eleven residents of the Clan of willfully killing a Belgium national, asserting that the murder weapon was a single barrel gun. The Liberia National Police and others have patently failed to identify who among the eleven persons indicted for murder pulled the trigger. Are people expected to believe that eleven persons, whose respective presence at the murder site has yet to be established, together fired the gun that killed the Belgium? Besides, the victim was accompanied on his trip by more than a dozen LAC employees. The Belgium was not at the head or tail of the group when he allegedly was shot but again, no effort was made to question the LAC employees who accompanied the victim.
The Bruno Murder Case (The Republic of Liberia vs. Arthur Crusoe et al) has been in court for years. Crusoe, the principal of the Zondo Public School, and ten subsistence farmers, since the Belgium was killed, have been dragged from court to court. In addition to the hardships due to frequent interruption of farming activities—the case that began in the Lower Buchanan Magisterial Court then
The people of Zondo, indeed of Grand Bassa County, as did the Jews in captivity in Babylon, appealed to Esther, hereby appeal to persons of good will, to help finance the cost of preserving their good name.
Rev. Dr. Abba G. Karnga, Chairman
The Resilient Council of Elders
Tel. +231 886524 067
S. Byron Tarr
Member, Resilient Council of Elders