Uncertainty Over Kidnapped Victim
Criminal Court “A” Judge James W. Zotaa has observed that state lawyers became suspicious of Christina Andrianopoulos’ motive of attempting to clandestinely abscond (flee) the Republic of Liberia while she remains a key state witness in prosecuting her alleged kidnappers.
As a result, Judge Zotaa ruled that the petitioner was right to apply for a writ of Ne Exeat Republica [to restrain from leaving the country], and ordered his clerk to send a mandate to the Monrovia City Court to take the deposition (testimony) of victim Andrianopoulos under oath this Friday, October 12, 2012.
Upon arrival in Liberia, the 58 years old United States (US) citizen claimed that she was kidnapped on September 23, 2012 at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County by gunmen, demanding US$5m for her release.
On October 2, 2012, state lawyers filed a petition before the court for the issuance of a writ of Ne Exeat Republica against victim Andrianopoulos based on security information that she was an alleged kidnap victim.
Prosecutors have been seeking the court’s order to prevent Anrdianopoulos’ departure from Liberia as key witness or make recorded or written statement as evidence against her alleged kidnappers.
But in her resistance and submission before the Criminal Court “A”, Andrianopoulos accused the petitioner for grossly abusing her right to free movement by confiscating her passport and preventing her from leaving Liberia.
Andrianopoulos’ legal counsel Golda Benard-Elliot argued that the Justice Ministry was trying to save face under the guise of seeking statements from the kidnap victim, on grounds that earlier statements made before police investigators could be used to prosecute the perpetrators.
The respondent’s lawyer therefore asked the court to dismiss the state submission and unconditionally return her passport to restore her freedom of movement.
Meanwhile, Andrianopoulos has claimed that her kidnappers threatened to kill her, but alleged that she was aided by one of the kidnappers to escape murder following three days of torture.
Though she claimed the perpetrators demanded US$5m ransom for her release, she did not mention offering a dime to her facilitator who “felt sorrow” for her and released her.
She claimed that the armed men leader boasted of having connections all over in Liberia, in the US Embassy, the Police Department and the Liberian Embassy; therefore he could detect if anyone called to disclose that she was kidnapped.