MONROVIA, Montserrado â€“ Criminal Court A has dropped four out of five charges against Rep. Yekeh Kolubah. The lawmaker from Montserradoâ€™s tenth district will now only face a kidnapping charge.
Judge Roosevelt Willie decided to drop the charges of aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal solicitation, and criminal facilitation. This came after Kolubahâ€™s lawyers motioned for the judge to dismiss the charges because government lawyers decided to drop charges against Kolubahâ€™s bodyguards and have them testify against the lawmaker. In asking for the charges to be dropped, Kolubahâ€™s lawyers also noted that prosecutors had failed to provide evidence against their client.
Rep. Kolubah was arrested on June 5, 2019 and accused of ordering his bodyguards to beat a resident of his district who had refused to accept a leaflet and t-shirt for the June 7, 2019 Save the State protest. According to the indictment, Emmanuel Freeman was badly tortured and flogged by Kolubahâ€™s personal bodyguards and required treatment at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center.
After having four charges dropped against their client, Kolubahâ€™s legal team produced its first witness, Mohammed S. Kaba. Kaba told the court that Emmanuel Freeman was, in fact, a thief who stole his phone and was beaten by an angry crowd.
Kaba told the court that Kolubahâ€™s former bodyguard, Abu Kieta, was his personal friend who decided to help him retrieve his phone from Freeman. During the process, he said police arrested Keita and Kaba.
â€œAt no point during the tussle did I see neither Rep. Kolubah nor heard him ordering his former bodyguard to beat suspect Emmanuel Freeman,â€ Kaba testified.
Kolubah himself took the witness stand to deny ever being present for the altercation between his former bodyguards and Freeman. Contrary to the indictment, he said he had not interacted with Freeman.
The lawmaker said he became involved in the case when he was informed that his then-bodyguard, Kieta, was arrested for torturing someone.
â€œI was surprised when the whole case turned to me as if I was the one who instructed my former bodyguard to go and beat someone,â€ Kolubah said. As a strong critic of Pres. George Weahâ€™s administration, Kolubah believes the government is trying to use all possible means to bring him down.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah