Source: Star Radio Liberia
M. Welemongai Ciapha, II (213) 077-119-511
DAY IN COURT: Almost a year after the stabbing death of a South African national, allegedly by two Chinese nationals, the lawyer for the accused pair argued Tuesday that his clients could not speak the English Language, and further requested the court to obtain an interpreter. But the trial appears headed from some graphic details as the indictment suggests the victim, Wesley Craig, was allegedly stabbed to death with knives at his Randall Street residence on September 6, 2009 – and the accused had some serious motives for murder.
The trial of two Chinese nationals, Meng Wang and Li Ma, who were indicted by the grand jury of Montserrado County for their involvement in the killing of a South African, began Tuesday at Criminal Court “B” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
The victim, Wesley Craig, was allegedly stabbed to death with knives at his Randall Street residence on September 6, 2009.
When the case was called for hearing, Atty. Sunifu Sherrif, who is one of the public defenders for Montserrado County brought to the attention of the court that his clients could not speak the English Language, and further requested the court to obtain an interpreter.
The defense submitted that his request was not intended to delay or baffle the proceedings, but in order for his clients to have fair justice.
In response to the application made by the defense, Cllr. Augustine C. Fayiah, one of the prosecuting lawyers interposed no objection.
According to the indictment, copy of which is in the possession of FrontPage Africa, on September 6, 2009 the defendants Wang and Ma purchased two knives with criminal motives and went to the victim’s house.
The indictment further noted that during police preliminary investigation conducted with the accused, it was established that the deceased and the defendants became friends at an entertainment center called the “Village”, where they usually met to play pool.
“That on Sunday, September 6, Wang and Ma with criminal motives, went to the victim’s house to visit him after purchasing the two kitchen knives.
That upon arriving, they met Craig and his fiancée, yet to be identified, and the house boy. They all had conversation for sometime after which the victim’s fiancée left,” the indictment averred.
The indictment further revealed that the defendants remained in the apartment with the deceased and the house boy, and about 6:00 P.M., when the house boy had left, the defendants later returned and knocked the door of the apartment.
When the door was opened, the indictment further disclosed the defendants, Wang and Ma, told Craig that they wanted some water to drink.
Accordingly, said the indictment: “the victim took them to his kitchen, opened the refrigerator and offered them water. When they got through the drinking, the victim walked ahead of them toward the front door, so that they could leave. In the process, they (defendants) grabbed the victim, put a sharp instrument believed to be a knife to the (victim’s) throat, and threatened to kill him if he did not give them the money he had in the house.”
According to the indictment, the victim pleaded with them that he did not have money, but the accused walked with the victim toward his bed-room while the knife was still at his throat.
It is stated in the indictment that the defendants commanded the victim to lay down on his back on the floor, and that while lying down with the knife still pointed at his neck by one of the defendants, the other defendant went in the room, took the victim’s shirt and trousers, tied his feet and hands.
Further in the indictment, it is also averred that the victim managed to have untied the rope, but when the defendants noticed that the victim had untied the rope, they rushed on him, threw him on the bed, got hold of the knives and began stabbing him all over his body.
“The victim was still struggling, when the defendants put his (victim’s) trousers on his neck and tried to strangle him, but to no avail. Co-defendant Meng Wang then slashed the victim’s throat to silence him. That after killing the victim, they searched his whole apartment for money, but did not find any,” the indictment stated.
The indictment further pointed out that after killing Craig, the defendants criminally took one laptop, one Digital Camera, a bed clock, a DVD player and a cigarette lighter and made away with them.