by Trokon Wrepue, [email protected]
The Government of Liberia on January 17, 2020, issued a statement warning to revoke the permit and license of D-15 Radio including any radio station that will relay the talk- show of Henry Costa.
Claim: Monrovia, January 17, 2020: The Government of Liberia’s attention is drawn to a social media post notifying the public of a plan by Radio Bushrod (D15 Radio) to begin hosting Henry Costa, who fled the country in 2020 after a writ was issued for his arrest in a criminal matter Mr. Costa is still wanted by the law……
The Stage Media Fact checked if Mr. Costa was charged by the government of Liberia before his departure for the United State of America through neighbouring Sierra Leone.
The Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) confirmed that they have no charge against him because they are not the regulatory authority.
LIS was investigating Mr. Costa’s travel documents he used to enter Liberia from the US.
Both the offices of Liberia’s Solicitor General and Montserrado County Attorney confirmed that they have no idea of a writ or indictment issued on Henry Costa.
Legal Expert Opinion who requested anonymity said: I spoke with one of the lawyers who represented him in the last saga. He confirmed that to date, he is yet to see any writ that has been duly issued by a Liberian court of law charging Mr. Costa with any crime.
He also confirmed that that the GOL representative (who travelled to Sierra Leone) could not present the Sierra Leonean authority any Writ from a Liberian court where he was being sought after by the Ministry of Justice.
“I think this was one particular reason for the refusal by the Sierra Leonean authority to apprehend and send Mr. Costa back to Liberia.
That said, the real question is whether free speech rights, guaranteed and protected under Article 15 (Liberian Constitution, 1986), can be properly curtailed by the Executive Department – in this case, the Ministry of Information – even assuming a person charged with a crime? Or can curtailment of free speech, a constitutional guarantee, be legally done outside the court?
These are critical constitutional questions that should be properly raised before the Supreme Court of Liberia.
- False: No writ issued by the GOL
- Debatable: That Costa can be denied from relaying his show on D-15 based on grounds given by the government
- True: There is no record that he is a fugitive
- Debatable: The Government interpretation of Article 15 of the 1986 constitution
- False: there is no record that Costa has criminal charges on him as stated by the GOL