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Benguema murder trial…

Soldier died of ‘manual strangulation’

By Hawa Amara

Charles Amadu Williams, who was allegedly murdered by three military officers, died of “unnatural” caused by “manual strangulation”, according to state consultant pathologist and chief forensic scientist, Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma.

The pathologist and forensic expert was giving evidence at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No. 2, presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda, in the ongoing preliminary investigation into the death of the soldier at the Armed Forces Training Centre, Benguema.

Dr. Koroma told the court that the corpse of the deceased was delivered on 5 March, 2014, at the Connaught hospital for an autopsy examination, and that on the instruction of the Chief Medical Officer, he carried out the post-mortem examination on the body of the 33 years soldier.

He said the body was identified by one Mr. Charles Williams of No.47 John Street in Freetown, father of the deceased, a group of military officers, medical students and one Investigative Officer, Detective Sergeant 1513 Kabba M.D., as well as Senior Crime Officer, Dumbuya I.S., attached to the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters.

“Upon concluding the autopsy, I reduced my findings to a medical report which has still been in my custody and it was dated and signed by myself,” he said, adding that the pathological cause of death were fracture ribs of a high hydroid and cricoids dislocation; fracture of the cervical vertebrate due to manual strangulation, fracture of the skull occitan radium massive cerebra; rupture of the kidney and blunt force of head neck, as well as abdomen spinal cord injury.

Following the expert testimony, lead defence counsel, R. Gidwani, Esq., applied for an adjournment to allow the defence time to study the report of the pathologist, and for witnesses to be cross-examined.

The accused, Captain Samuel Munda Momodu, Lieutenant Hendry Lamin Sesay and Lieutenant Alhaji Bobor Sheriff were arraigned on one count of murder contrary to the law of Sierra Leone.

The prosecution alleges that the trio had on 26 February, 2014, murdered the deceased at the Armed Forces Training Centre at Benguema.

The matter continues.