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Lungi murder accused set to testify

August 6, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Defense counsel for murder accused Fatmata Tucker yesterday informed the Freetown High Court that his client would take the witness stand during the next hearing.

Ishmael Philip Mammie was addressing the court after state prosecutor Mohamed Sow closed his case in the ongoing murder trial involving the accused.

The deceased, Saidu Bangura, was gruesomely murdered at the Suffian Guest House in Lungi in the Port Loko District, Northern Sierra Leone, last year.

In his closing statement, prosecutor Sow said the matter was committed to the High Court for trial on 12 June, 2014 after a successful preliminary Investigation by Magistrate Komba Kamanda, thus tendering the committal warrant from the Magistrate Court to the High Court.

Earlier testifying, ninth prosecution witness, Detective Inspector Issa Saio  Dumbuya, said he is a crime scene examiner attached to the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Freetown.

He recalled on 9 April, 2014 when he was instructed to witness a post-mortem examination conducted by government consultant pathologist, Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma, at the Connaught Hospital mortuary, on the remains of one Saidu Bangura.

Inspector Dumbuya said he took a couple of photographs of the deceased during the post-mortem, adding that he was subsequently shown a cutlass and a knife at the office, which apparently were the instruments of death.

He said he later printed the pictures and compiled them into a photograph album which he signed and dated 9 April, 2014.

But counsel for the accused Mr. Mammie objected to the tendering of the photo album on the grounds that they were not taken from the crime scene.

In his reply, prosecutor Sow submitted that the objection has no legal basis because the witness who was about to tender the photo album was the one who took the photos.

Justice Alusine Sesay ruled in favour of the prosecution.

Meanwhile, responding to counsel Mammie during cross-examination, the witness said he did not take any pictures at the crime scene in Lungi, but however confirmed he was present at the post-mortem examination, although he could not state the number of cuts the deceased sustained.

According to the police, the accused on 6 April, 2014 at the Suffian Guest House in Lungi, Northern Provinces of Sierra Leone, murdered the deceased, a former United Nations staff in Somalia

The matter was adjourned to 17 August, 2015 for the defense to open their case.