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The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) stands with its auxiliaries, the Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL) and the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) in the groups’ campaign for fair and speedy trial in the case involving Journalist Bettie Johnson Mbayo and her husband (Dr. Moses Mbayo).  

Bong County District #3 Representative Marvin Cole took the pair along with the principal of St. Simon Baptist School to the Paynesville Magisterial Court on charges of felonious restraint, disorderly conduct, and terroristic threat. The Mbayos informed the Press Union that the Bong County District 3 Representative rained invectives at them after he had questioned the parking of their vehicle near a huge concrete fence barricading his home to the rest of the community. In addition to the insults, they lamented, Rep. Cole ordered their whipping by men in his entourage. The embarrassing incident occurred when the couple (Mbayos) joined other sympathizers who had gathered in Du-road to mourn the death of a friend’s father.  

It is shocking that a petite issue will take national service minutes away from a medical doctor and top investigative journalist at the behest of a lawmaker who should shy away from filing lawsuits against ordinary people, the PUL asserts. An open, fair and speedy trial will disappoint the Bong County lawmaker and police officers who ignored the health of Dr. & Mrs. Mbayo but choose to charge them with misdemeanors and a third-degree criminal offense after seeing the now defendants bodily bruised and the clothes of Dr. Mbayo particularly torn up. Rep. Cole who should have been charged with assault and battery for inflicting wounds on Journalist Bettie Mbayo and her doctor-husband was let go while the victims were charged and sent to court. Article 21 of the Constitution of Liberia among other things guarantees party litigants the right to a speedy trial. 

 The Press Union of Liberia is asking the Liberia National Police to stop presenting its vulnerabilities to politicians in propelling their dishonorable abuse of power which leaves ordinary Liberians victimized. Policing tends to protect people injured in brawls or beating of individuals as in this case ordered by Rep. Cole which endangered the safety of a talented female journalist, medical doctor, and educator.   

Meanwhile, the PUL has vowed to ensure the full application of the law without fear or favor despite a lawmaker being involved with the brutality against the journalists and the two other professionals.

The umbrella organization of Liberian Journalists, however, insists that the lawmaker will face the law for his actions despite the police’s initial decision to hide the truth and stresses that it is carefully following the case and any attempt the thwart the truth will be challenged legally.

Moreover, the Union is therefore calling on its members to again assemble at the court on Wednesday in continuation of their support on the second day hearing of the case.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/liberia-journalist-spouse-face-charges/

Source of original article: The New Dawn Liberia (thenewdawnliberia.com).
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