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7th Defence witness testifies at Court Martial

January 27, 2015 By Alusine Sesay

7th defence witness in the ongoing court martial trial of 13 alleged mutineers, Lieutenant J.N. Lavalie, yesterday testified on the alibi defense raised by 3rd accused, 18180170 Abdulai Suma Coker.

Lieutenant Lavalie, who was Officer-in-Charge (OC) at Sania Village, testified that the 3rd accused was attached to his B Company at the Forward Patrol Base at Sania from April to 1st August, 2013, when he obtained his annual leave and left for Makeni.

He said the 3rd accused was neither issued a welfare pass nor absent on duty without official leave (AWOL) while he was deployed at Sania.

The 3rd accused had told the court that save for the 2nd accused, he knew the other ten accused persons, with whom he stayed with at the 4th battalion, Teko Barracks in Makeni.

However, he told the court he was deployed at the Forward Patrol Base at Sania Village, along the Sierra Leone-Guinea border, in August 2013, prior to his arrest on 16 August 2013, but denied communicating to ten of the accused persons while at Sania.

The 3rd accused had testified in court that he was granted his annual leave from 1st August 2013 and that he left Sania and spent some time with his family at Teko Barracks in Makeni from 1st to 3rd August, and later travelled to Guinea, where he bought a musical set.

According to him, he returned to Makeni on 14 August 2013 and stayed with his family at Teko Barracks in Makeni until he was arrested on 16 August, 2013.

He denied being in Makeni on 6 to 10 August 2013.

The 13 soldiers have been in detention since they were arrested last August and charged with planning a deadly mutiny, which prosecutors say would have targeted President Ernest Bai Koroma, whose hometown is Makeni, and some of their commanders.

They have denied all the charges.

The matter comes up again on Wednesday, 28 January2015.

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