Liberian authorities have arrested and handed over a former Sierra Leonean police chief accused by his country of planning a coup against President Julius Maada Bio’s government.
Liberian Information Minister Ledgerhood Rennie said in a statement on Tuesday that Mohammed Y Toure was arrested “at the request of the Sierra Leonean authorities on the allegation of helping plan subversive activities intended to unseat [Mr Bio’s] government”.
He said Liberia had decided to hand the ex-police chief over to Sierra Leone as requested following preliminary investigations.
He added that Sierra Leone had given assurances that his rights would be respected, including the right to a fair and speedy trial.
However, Liberia’s Independent National Commission on Human Rights cautioned against the extradition, citing the risk of surrendered persons facing “physical abuse, unfair trial or excessive punishment” by the requesting government.
In a statement, it also reminded Liberia’s government of its obligations including refusing extradition requests if the offence “is regarded as a political offence or as an offence connected with a political offence”.
The ex-police chief has been residing in Liberia since last year. He was among officers dismissed from the Sierra Leone police force in 2020, while others were forced into retirement, local media report.
His deportation comes more than a week after the police in Sierra Leone accused unnamed individuals “at home and abroad” of planning violent protests.
Last week, the police said they had arrested several people including unnamed senior military officers, for “working to undermine the peace and tranquillity of the state”. – BBC.