Magistrate demands consolidation of files
December 1, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura
Presiding Magistrate of Siaka Steven Street Court No.1, Albert Moody, has on Wednesday (29th November) requested for both court files of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Publicity Secretary -Lawrence Lahai Leema, to be consolidated.
The application was made by Lead Defence Counsel, A. Y. Brewa, pursuant to section 52 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965.
The said section states that “Subject to the provisions of rules made under section 50, charges for more than one felony or for more than one misdemeanour, and charges for both felonies and misdemeanours may, if those charges are founded on the same facts or form or are a part of a series of offences of the same or a similar character, be joined in the same complaint, information or indictment and tried at the same time, but where under the provisions of this section a felony is tried together with a misdemeanour in the Supreme Court, then if the trial is with a jury, the jury shall be sworn and the person accused shall have the same right of challenging jurors as if all the offences charged in the indictment were felonies.’’
Lawyer A Y Brewa asked for the accused person to be discharged on one file, stating that charges on both files for which the accused person is before the court occurred on the same day and at the same time.
According to Lawyer Brewa, in law, when an accused person is before the court on two different files with the same offences, he should be discharged on one file.
In his response, Magistrate Moody said the case for which the accused was before the court took place at the same place and date, adding that the charges in both files are the same.
He said the differences in the charges should reflect in the counts and the number of complainants should be stated on the charges, while stating that if the files are consolidated, it would make the work more easy and decent for the court.
Assistant Superintendent of Police-Samuel Kamara accused Leema of assaulting one Franklyn Rogers, Gerald Sesay and Joseph Kowa at the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) newsroom, contrary to the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861.
They also alleged that the Publicity Secretary behaved in a disorderly manner at the SLBC, used threatening language against Joseph Kowa and unlawfully entered the SLBC newsroom without due process.
The magistrate had granted bail to the accused person on his own recognizance. The matter comes up on 4th November, 2017.