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In Minister alleged rape case…

Witness admits telling lies

By Hassan G. Koroma

Second prosecution witness in the alleged rape case involving the former deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Mamoud Tarawalie, yesterday told the High Court presided over by Justice Abdulai Cham that all he had said in his testimony at the Magistrate Court concerning the matter were lies.

Detective Police Constable 11677 Ibrahim Sorie Conteh attached to the Family Support Unit of the New England police station made the confession while being cross-examined by defence counsel Sulaiman Kabba Koroma.

When asked to read a testimony he had made during the preliminary investigation before Magistrate Tonia Barnett at the magistrate court and put to him that what he was saying at the High Court was different from his original testimony at the lower court, the police detective responded that it was not the first time he was testifying in the matter as he had previously done so in the Magistrate Court. He admitted that his previous testimony at the magistrate court was untrue.

Continuing with his testimony, the witness told the court that the pant that was found at the crime scene was identified to the police by the complainant herself, and that it was the complainant who handed over the pant to him which he recorded in the police station diary.

The police detective admitted that he knew the accused person and the complainant in the rape matter, and that he recalled on 9th September 2013 when he was on duty that the complainant reported a rape matter at the police station involving the accused. The matter, he said, was assigned to him for further investigation.

He said Detective Police Constable 9763 Jaba Gibrilla issued a medical form to the complainant for examination and treatment at the Rainbow Centre, which she later returned to the police station.

“On the same day we obtained statement from the complainant and the next day on September 10th [2013], myself, DPC 12143 Sheku Turay, DPC 9293 Hawa Dumbuya and DPC 19763 Gibrilla Jaba took separate statements from the witness on the matter,” explained the police detective. “Also, myself and DPC 9293 Hawa Dumbuya contemporaneously obtained statements from the accused, recorded it and later read it to him, which he admitted to be true and signed it in his own handwriting.”

He continued: “On the same day also, myself and the Non-Commission Officer, Sergeant 7662 Moses Fofanah led by Crime Officer Jalloh together with the complainant visited the scene of crime at No.6A Handel Street, Kingtom. The complainant identified the room where she was allegedly raped by the accused, and in the room we discovered two wooden cultural beads, yellow and white comb, off-white bed-sheet and different types of pants, which we took as evidence and handed them over to the exhibit clerk at the New England police station.”

He said out of the many different pants they discovered the complainant tendered one to the police, which he said is now with the court.

He said on the 11th of the same month, he and a team from the Family Support Unit headed by Mabel Fallah, alongside the accused and the complainant, visited the office of the accused and executed a search warrant in respect of the school documents and passport book of the complainant, but they found nothing of interest and therefore left the scene.

“On 16th September 2013 we charged the accused to court on the following offences: rape, wounding with intent, wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm,” Detective Conteh told the court.

The accused was arraigned on four counts of wounding with intent, wounding, rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to Section 47 of the Offence Against the Person Act, 1861.

According the particulars offence, the accused on Monday September 9, 2013 at No.6A Handel Street, Kingtom intentionally had sex with the victim without her consent. The accused has denied all the charges.

The matter was adjourned to July 8.