March 18, 2016 By Regina Pratt
Opposition strongman, Alie Kabbah, will be tried by judge alone for the offence of bigamy and perjury in the High Court in Freetown. State Counsel, AGM Bockarie, Wednesday made the application in the High Court, presided by Justice Miatta Samba.
Justice Samba upheld the application of the prosecution and assured the defense that the accused or his counsel would be given a chance to cross-examine prosecution witnesses.
Earlier, defence lawyer Francis Ben Kaifala noted that the accused was lost as to why he was before the High Court after going through committal proceedings.
He said the accused had no idea about the committal as the state had proceeded to seek an indictment, adding that “We invite your lordship to peruse the application as in those dispositions no evidence was taken from the accused.”
“It was improper the state sought proceeding before the High Court,” he stated, noting that the effect could prejudice the proceedings against the accused in the High Court.
Kaifala further said that “We are not objecting to the committal but lay the foundation for a fair balance in the trial,” adding that they do not rely on evidence deduced by the prosecution in the Magistrate Court, which the latter wanted to use in the High Court.
“We cannot apply a painkiller to a sore that was never cured,” he said metaphorically.
In response, State Counsel Bockarie said the accused was before the court not on a committal, but that certain proofs of evidence had been added, and that they were not only relying on what was marked as exhibit but also on other proofs of evidence.
He urged the trial judge to discountenance the objection of the defence counsel and allow the proceeding to continue.
In her ruling, justice Samba said she would not convict on evidence before her, but would allow the accused person to have his say in court.
The case was adjourned until Wednesday, 30 March, 2016.