Liberia seeks to extradite 7 alleged mercenaries

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Associated Press

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 9:33 PM

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Justice Ministry officials in the West African nation of Liberia say they're asking a court to sign off on extraditing seven alleged mercenaries to Ivory Coast.

The move follows criticism of how Liberia has responded to the threat posed by armed groups along its border.

Human rights groups say mercenaries backing former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo have used the Liberian side of the border to launch deadly attacks inside Ivory Coast.

Deputy Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh said late Wednesday that the government of Ivory Coast made the request to have the men extradited.

They are among 20 Liberians charged with "mercenarism" for their alleged involvement in cross-border raids into Ivory Coast.

But defense lawyers say the government is proceeding with the matter outside of due process.

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