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Sumaila Town murder trial committed to High Court

…but third accused discharged for want of evidence

November 30, 2015 By Hawa Amara

Magistrate Komba Kamanda last Friday committed to the High Court a murder matter involving two accused persons Santigie Mansaray and Abdulai Kamara who prosecutors say murdered one Joseph Forbie in the Sumaila Town community, but discharge the third accused Masiala Conteh for want of prosecution.

The three accused persons, Santigie Mansaray, Abdulai Kamara, and Masiala Conteh, were arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 on six counts of conspiracy to commit a felony to wit murder, murder, assault, wounding, and willfully making false statement to the police contrary to the laws of the country.

The accused persons on 9 August 2015 had allegedly murdered the deceased at at Sumaila Town, west of Freetown.

In his committal statement, Magistrate Kamanda said that the prosecution called six witnesses who gave enough evidence to prove their case, adding that it is fact that the victim was stabbed and according to the medical report the victim died as a result of a stab wound.

Magistrate Kamanda stated that the evidence of three factual witnesses consistently implicated the first and second accused. He said both of the witnesses testified that the deceased was in front of his house when he was stabbed.

He noted that defence counsel I.P. Mamie had made a no case submission on behalf of the third accused, submitting that there was no evidence to indicate that the third accused had an agreement with the others to murder the victim.

He said that the defence counsel had further submitted that the third accused only knew the victim and that she was present when he was fatally stabbed by the first and second accused persons. The magistrate concluded that evidence adduced in court failed to reach the threshold for the third accused to have a case to answer at the High Court.

He noted that during the preliminary investigation he had questioned the charges against the third accused from the outset, and that pursuant to section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965 the third accused must be discharged

Magistrate Kamanda admonished the third accused to dissociate herself from criminal minds because that was what caused her to spend three months in prison.

He concluded that having looked into the evidence of the six prosecution witnesses and the statements the accused persons made to the police, he discovered that the factual witnesses testified that the first and second accused attacked and stabbed the deceased, adding that this evidence was corroborated by the report of the pathologist.