Armed Robbery, Hijacking and Terrorism Now Capitol Offenses in Liberia

Written on:July 26, 2008
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Executive Mansion, Monrovia

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed into law an Act making armed robbery, terrorism and hijacking capital offenses.

The Act to amend “chapters 14 and 15 sub-chapter (c), titled 26,” known as the new penal law of 1976, was revised by adding thereto four new sections thereby making the crimes of armed robbery, terrorism and hijacking, respectively, capitol offences and providing punishment therein.”

The President also signed an Act to establish the National Bureau of Veterans Affairs as well as an Act to implement the convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction.

Present at the signing ceremony were the Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on the Executive, Senator Gloria Scott; Chairman of the House of Representative’s Committee on the Executive, Hon. Kettehkumehn Murray; Montserrado County Representative, Richard Holder; Bomi County Representative Haja Fata Sayon; and Minister of State for Legal, Finance and Economic Affairs, Morris Saytumah.

The President is fully cognizant that Liberia as a State Party is a signatory to the UN’s Second Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the Death Penalty commonly known as the ‘Second Optional Protocol’.

However, she shares the view and responded to the appeal of the majority of the people for a robust response to the increasing level of crime involving robberies that include physical assault rape and murder by robbers who attack innocent citizens, thereby creating panic and a confidence crisis in the society.

The President is committed to revisiting the Act for possible amendment as soon as the situation is brought fully under control and sustainable peace is assured.

2 Comments add one

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  2. Tibli Olandrus Dickson says:

    This action by the executive is long overdue! The scourge of armed robbery continue to impede the forces of development and nation-building, and has a strangle-hold on the right of our people to live in peace.
    As a former Deputy-Chief of the Armed Robbery Unit, and Deputy Chief Investigator of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the Liberian Police, I am consumed by a sudden feeling joy that at last the perpetrators of these heinous acts against the Liberian people have, to an extent, reached the end of the road.
    The challenge now is to the Police and the Courts to efficiently/effectively use these amended laws to ensure the security of the Liberian people. My fear is that the court system has not reform sufficiently to ensure that those convicted of these crimes SERVED out their terms in FULL. This has been the problem in the past, as convicted felons re-emerge in the streets just days after been sent to the Central Prison because some bribes were paid to unscrupulous court officials.
    Finally, it is my fervent hope that this new development will bring genuine relief to our people!!

    Tibli Olandrus Dickson
    The Hague, Netherlands