January 28, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
One Abdul Raka Tholley, who is standing trial for the offence of manslaughter before Justice Miatta Samba at the Freetown High Court, yesterday pleaded guilty.
The accused was arraigned for the offence of manslaughter as the prosecution alleged that on 16 March, 2014 in Freetown, the accused murdered one Mustapha Bassie.
Representing the accused person, A. Sesay from the Legal Aid Board informed the court that he had discussed with the accused and advised him not to waste the time of the court.
Sesay applied that the charge be reread to the accused to enable him change his initial plea of ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’, adding that the accused had told him that the act was not intentional as he and the victim were friends.
In her response, Justice Samba said it was good that the accused had decided to change his plea in order that he did not waste the time of the court, but noted that relatives of the deceased should have been present to witness the accused changing his plea to guilty.
“It would have been good for relatives of the deceased to be here when the accused is pleading guilty because at the end of the day when I sentence him to prison and he eventual completes his jail term, he would come out one day and face the relatives,” noted the judge. “If they are here when the accused is changing his plea, they would find a way to let go the pains in their heart so that when the accused completes his jail term they would be able to accept him again in the community.”
The judge granted the application and adjourned the matter until Friday, 29 January for judgment.