May 21, 2024

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Liberia: Man in U.S.$100k Theft Case Accuses Police of Torture

2 min read

Defendant Abraham Benjamin, a Ghanaian and a pastor of the Christ Embassy International Church on trial for allegedly stealing US$100K has disclosed that he was tortured during a police investigation to admit to committing the crime.

Benjamin is on trial for allegedly stealing that huge sum of money from his Liberian wife, Christiana Singbeh, who currently resides in the United States of America.

Testifying at Criminal Court ‘C’ last week, the defendant alleged that he was tortured by investigators of the Liberian National Police (LNP (and falsely imprisoned for two years over a crime he did not commit.

The government, based on the police investigation, indicted defendant Benjamin in February 2024, having been allegedly detained since surrounding himself for a probe in 2021.

The indictment also quoted his estranged wife Christiana Singbeh alleging that, while in the US, she transferred US$100,000 through various financial institutions to her husband to construct several facilities including an orphanage home, a school, and a three-storey building, which monies he allegedly misapplied.

Christiana Singbeh also claimed that the monies were sent to defendant Benjamin between 2018 and 2019 through Money Grains, Send Waive, RIA, the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), and other entities.

Further defendant Benjamin testified that at no time did his wife send him US$100,000. “This is a diabolical lie.”

Worse, the defendant alleged he was dehumanized by the officers. “I was never arrested. I surrounded myself with the investigation, but I was tortured to confess that I committed the crime. I was detained for 8 days without food when I went to the police station for the investigation before they sent me to the Monrovia Central Prison where I am and going through my case,” Benjamin testified.

While openly speaking to the jury in the courtroom, Benjamin’s lawyer, Cllr. Bestman Juah alleged that the defendant was never represented by a lawyer during the investigation, contrary to Article 21 (c) of the 1986 Constitution.

When asked to confirm, defendant Benjamin alleged “I was never represented by a lawyer throughout the investigation.”

According to the defendant, he received money from his wife from the US, but they were not US$100,000, as the indictment alleges.

“With the money I received, I was able to construct a fence around her land, which I bought for her. I started constructing a three-storey building with twelve units, twenty-four rooms,” Benjamin said in his testimony.

He further alleged that the money he used for the projects was raised from goods his wife sent to him, which he sold and it was the proceeds for the construction work.

When Benjamin asked whether he would remember making any voluntary statements to the police during the investigation, defendant Benjamin alleged that the police extracted a false confession from him.

” Yes, I was intimidated, forced,d and tortured for four hours before giving the statements,” defendant Benjamin alleges.

By Liberian Observer.

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