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Mysterious Death of Liberian Whistleblower Being Investigated

FILE - Liberian Police Chief Chris Massaquoi.

The director of the Liberia National Police said an investigation into the mysterious death of a prominent lawyer and whistleblower is underway. Counsellor Michael Allison, former consultant to the National Oil Company of Liberia, was found dead on a Monrovia beach Friday morning.

Allison reportedly had a role to play in the ongoing investigation involving the speaker of the Liberian House of Representatives.

Some suspect foul play. One report said Allison had complained to friends that his life was in danger.

Police Director Chris Massaquoi said a pathologist has arrived from neighboring Sierra Leone to help in the investigation.

“Investigation by homicide investigators is ongoing and we have decided to bring in a foreign pathologist and he just arrived Sunday from Sierra Leone to be able to assist the Liberia National Police in the investigation,” he said.

Massaquoi said the police received no complaint from Allison or anyone related to him. He said the alleged corruption case had been taken over by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Bureau.

“We absolutely have no record of such complaint. Apparently this matter was directly handled by the LACC (Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission), and the Liberia National Police has not been a part of the investigation,” he said.

The police director said had a threat been brought to the attention of the police they would have probably assisted in providing protection to Allison.

FrontPage Africa, a local Liberian online news service, reported that a woman claiming to be a friend of Allison said the two of them went to the beach “around late evening hours.” She said he decided to swim in the ocean. A few minutes later, she said, she saw him drowning.

Massaquoi said the police have questioned the woman, but he refused to divulge what they gathered citing the rights of the defendant.

“I’m sorry, I wouldn’t want to state any speculation or make any remark that will prejudice the prosecution. Maybe at a later time we might be able to come up with the conclusion to the investigation. But, at this stage, I wouldn’t want to disclose her information to protect the right of the defendant as well,” Massaquoi said.

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