MONROVIA, Liberia (AA) – Police in Liberia are searching for a leading opposition politician after surrounding his home amid claims of a government hit list of opponents to be assassinated.
Simeon Freeman, leader of the Movement for Progressive Change, is wanted after claiming last week that the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf — the joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize — had drawn up a list of ten opposition figures targeted for death.
He claimed he was among the prominent figures on the list.
The allegations came after a number of high-profile deaths, including that of former Liberia Petroleum Refining Company Managing Director Henry Greaves, whose body was found on Jan. 31 on a beach behind the building currently used as Sirleaf’s office.
The opposition Congress for Democratic Change, whose leader George Weah was also said to be targeted for assassination, has described Greave’s death and other recent deaths as part of a “mafia-style execution strategy”. An autopsy earlier this week found he had drowned.
Police sealed off Freeman’s home in capital Monrovia on Saturday, preventing anyone from coming and going. The FrontPageAfrica news website cited a police source as saying the residence was being treated as a crime scene, adding that Freeman was wanted for questioning over his claims.
On Tuesday, Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh told a news conference that Freeman would be prosecuted. He did not specify the basis for a case but claimed Freeman’s statement could undermine peace and security in Liberia as UN peacekeepers prepare to leave after 13 years.
“[If] Simeon Freeman thinks that what he has said is not wrong and his allegation is true, let him come to our calls,” Sannoh said. “Why should he run away from our invitation? There is no reason to run away.”
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