Defence urged to expedite trial
February 25, 2015 By Patrick J. Kamara
Presiding judge in the ongoing trial of eight accused persons who allegedly murdered former president of the Pharmaceutical Board Association yesterday urged defence counsel F.B. Conteh to expedite the trial.
Judge Sam Margai reminded the defence counsel that the accused persons were not on bail, hence there was every need to expedite the trial.
Prior to yesterday’s hearing, Conteh had objected to the tendering of a statement by the first accused Alakeh Olive Johnson on the grounds that the recorded statement was not freely and voluntarily taken.
He told the court that his client had been subjected to undue duress and threat which prompted her to make a confessional statement to the police.
But the judge last week overruled his objection and allowed the statement to be tendered.
However, investigating officer Sergeant Mohamed Dauda Kabba attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), testified that the voluntary caution statement was obtained in the presence of detective Sergeant John Sahr Nanoh, while he signed as recorder.
The defence counsel also objected to the tendering of further interrogative statement by the first accused as he told the judge it was obtained in the absence of a legal representative of the accused person.
It could be recalled that Alakeh Olive Johnson, Umaru Majid Cole, Edward Joseph Moijueh, John Turay, Abdul Rashid Jalloh, Tommy Joseph, Alie Conteh and Chernor Bah were charged with the alleged murder of one Adeyemi Justin Patrick Johnson on November 12, 2012 at Old Railway Line, Wilberforce, west of Freetown.
They are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, larceny and arson, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.