August 19, 2020
Justice Samuel O. Taylor yesterday approved the application made by lawyer Emmanuel Saffa Abdulia for his client, Mohamed Kamarianba Mansaray, who is before the court for sexual penetration of a child, to be tried by judge and jury.
Lawyer Abdulai who leads a battery of 10 lawyers canvassed the court for his client to be tried by Judge and Jury of his peers.
The attorney cited Section 146 (c ) of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965.
“It is almost right that the fundamental purpose of bringing a man to court for criminal offence is to ensure that justice is served and in so doing the accused shall elect the mode of trial and the state is mandatory to pay heed to the election by the accused person, it is in the interest of Justice,” E.S. Abdulia told the court.
Similarly, A.K Koroma, lead counsel to the second accused person, Marion Arouni adopted the application earlier made by his colleague and added that Section 146, subsection 3 of CPA also states that care givers shouldn’t be held behind bars.
“There is a very strong reason why the accused should make that call and that call is based on the interest of Justice,” he said, noting that Section 23 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone is very clear and that there was no reason for the persecution should object.
Kamarainba was charged together with Marion Arouni on eight counts charges ranging from conspiracy to sexual offence.
According to the particulars offence, the accused persons on a date unknown between March 1st to 31st, 2020, conspired with other persons unknown to commit the offence of sexual penetration contrary to Section 43(b) and 19 of the sexual offense Act of 2012, as repealed and replaced by Section 4 (a)(III) of the Sexual offence (Amendment) Act of 2019.
But the accused persons have denied the charges.
Meanwhile, State Prosecutor, Umu Sumare, submitted to the court a written document from the Director of Public Prosecution for the accused persons to be tried by judge alone instead of judge and jury. She submitted that trial by judge and jury has a lot of challenges especially getting them to court regularly.
He cited Section 144 (2) of the CPA No. 32 of 1965 as repealed and replaced to by Section 3 of the CPA Act No. 11 of 198.
She added that such trial method had affected the expediency of many other cases and the instant case was not an exception.
However, the judge reminded the defense counsels of the horrors and realities that normally happened when cases are tried by judge and jury.
“If you are requesting for your client to be tried by judge and jury, you must be prepared to accept the consequences involved,” he warned.
“The court hereby ordered that as at the next adjourned date a pool of jurors should be ready to be empanelled for the progress of this matter,” he added.
The defense counsel for both accused persons accepted and noted that it was in the interest of justice that ‘serious matters must be treated seriously’.
Furthermore, the defense counsel of the first accused person pleaded that his client should be granted bail on the grounds that he is a respectable citizen that is well known and has a stake in the political dispensation in the country.
He further submitted that his client is an ordinary resident in Sierra Leone, where he had contested to be president in the previous election.
“A man of his calibre will want to address this matter with a logical conclusion and to clear his name. The witnesses in this case are in police custody and there is no way they can be reached by my client, refusing him bail will be tantamount to punishment rather than compelling him to appear before court,” E.S Abdulia told the court.
He assured the court that his client will make himself available as and when the court pleases.
In the same vein, counsel to the second accused made an application for bail citing the provisions in the bail regulations of 2018.
“She is a primary care giver with 3 children ages 15, 4 and 2 and it is for this same reason that the accused was granted bail and has abided to the law.
The state persecutor objected to the bail application with an affidavit.
However, the judge withheld his ruling on bail as the affidavit does not contain a receipt from National Revenue Authority.
The judge remanded the accused persons and adjourned the matter to today (19th August, 2020).