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Police testifies in President’s libel case

April 1, 2015 By Hawa Amara

Detective Police Constable (DPC) 4013 Jusu M. attached at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters in Freetown yesterday testified against one Mohamed Tim Kargbo, who is alleged to have referred to President Ernest Bai Koroma as a “wounded beast” in a WhatsApp post.

According to DPC Jusu, a team of police officers headed by Superintendent Samura Kargbo arrested and brought the accused to the station on 5 March, in respect of the matter before the court.

The witness said on 5 March, he and one Inspector Conteh obtained statement from the accused, who was cautioned prior to his interrogation in Krio, which lasted until 6 March. He said the statement was read and explained to him in Krio, which he admitted was true and correct before attesting it.

He said a team of police officers, headed by Inspector Ishmael Keita, conducted a search at the premises of the accused but nothing of police interest was discovered, although two mobile phones belonging to the accused were seized and are still in police custody.

He concluded that the matter was charged to court on 14 March, 2015, with the accused arraigned on four counts of calling a person other than by his name, defamatory libel, and knowingly publishing a false defamatory libel, contrary to sections 3(iv), 27 and 26 of the Public Order Act of 1965, respectively.

At this juncture, acting Director of Public Prosecution, Sulaiman A. Bah Esq., asked for an adjournment to enable the prosecution tender the two mobile phones as exhibit to form part of the evidence.

Defence counsel M.P. Sesay renewed his bail application on behalf of the accused, stating that the offences are bailable and that the constitutional provision of innocence until proof of guilt is fundamental, adding that the accused has credible and reliable sureties that are willing and ready to stand in his cognizance.

But the acting DPP objected to the bail application on the grounds that the offences charged are very serious as they risk undermining state security.

Magistrate Komba Kamanda refused the accused bail and adjourned the matter to 9 April.