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‘A crime is a crime no matter the offence’

...State Counsel Alieu Vandi Koroma

March 29, 2016  By Regina Pratt

State counsel Alieu Vandi Koroma has opined that a crime is a crime no matter which offence an accused committed.

He was speaking last Thursday, 24 March at a one-day roundtable discussion held at Santanno House, Howe Street, Freetown, during the third phase of ‘bridging the gap between lawyers/Judges and journalists’, organised by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

“Don’t bring gender into criminal offences, because in a murder case there is no issue for gender,” said the prosecutor, adding that if a woman committed a criminal offence like murder  she would be tried for the offence just like any man.

Lawyer Koroma further said when an adult commits an offence together with a juvenile, both of them would be charge together, adding that when proceedings are completed their could be more to the story as some of the challenges to the trial could have been addressed, which would help the judiciary look into certain issues.

He noted that most capital offences are tried by judge and jury, adding that in pleading guilty accused persons do not waste the court’s time and as such manifest honesty in court.

Lawyer Rashid Dumbuya, a prosecutor at the Anti-Corruption Commission said crimes committed against the state that are capital offences include murder and robbery with aggravation, which are tried by judge and jury.

He said cases may be heard anywhere because they involve matters between the Inspector – General of Police or The State and the accused, adding that the burden is on the former to prove the latter guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.

Legal consultant for Institute for Peace and War Reporting, Joseph Kapuwa, while dilating on how the media can impact the justice system, said they can so by educating the community on crime prevention, raise awareness on crimes and court proceedings, and to understand guidelines in criminal offences in order to educate their readers.