Two remanded for larceny
OCTOBER 3, 2014 By Hawa Amara
Police Constable (PC) 11346 Hendry Manoh Koroma yesterday testified in a larceny matter involving two accused persons – Tejan Sankoh and Swaibu Kuyateh – who allegedly stole a Toyota Land Cruiser with vehicle number plate AIN 618, from one Emile Tani-Luke F.J. The vehicle is said to be worth US$18,000.
The accused were arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.2 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda on two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to law, and larceny contrary to the law of Sierra Leone.
While testifying, PC Koroma, attached to the Precious Mineral Integrated Unit at the Operational Support Division (OSD) headquarters, told the court that on 17 April, the said case of larceny was assigned to him for further investigation.
He explained that he obtained statement from the complainant, who told him that the vehicle had been stolen and taken to Liberia by the accused persons. He said the complainant informed him that first accused (Sankoh) was on his way to Sierra Leone from Liberia.
The police constable said that a team of detectives, headed by one Sergeant Paulo, later arrested the accused and handed him to OSD officers.
He said that on 23 July, he and Detective Police Constable 9920 Kargbo M. cautioned the accused before interrogating him in Krio.
He further testified that second accused (Kuyateh) was arrested in Liberia and handed over to a team comprising the complainant, he and one Interpol officer.
He continued that as part of their investigation, a photocopy of the vehicle registration document was handed over to them, which was tendered as Exhibit E1-4.
He revealed that on 16 August, both accused persons were interrogated separately.
Defence counsel E.T. Koroma objected to the tendering of the statements of both accused persons on the grounds that they were involuntarily obtained and that it was not read to them to be true and correct, neither did they sign it.
However, police prosecutor Inspector Conteh S. retorted that the statements were obtained voluntarily from the accused persons, read to them, and that they admitted it to be true and correct.
Magistrate Kamanda ruled that since the matter is a preliminary investigation the statement should be tendered.
Also, the witness further stated that during the investigation, the accused persons paid US$7,300 in respect of the stolen vehicle, which was handed over to the Exhibit Clerk.
Defence counsel Koroma renewed his application for bail to which Inspector Conteh again rejected.
Magistrate Kamanda refused the accused persons bail and adjourned the hearing to today (Friday).