May 9, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
State Prosecutor Ahmed J.M. Bockarie has sought permission from the trial judge for the two alleged traffickers to be tried by judge alone.
Nanah Janneh and Fatmata Janneh were arraigned at the Freetown High Courts on five count charges, including conspiracy to commit human trafficking and human trafficking, contrary to section 2(1) of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2005.
According to the prosecution, the accused persons had on diverse dates between Monday, 20 April, and Wednesday, 22 April, 2015 at Deep Eye Water in Waterloo conspired to commit a felony, to wit human trafficking.
The prosecution further alleged that the accused did traffic two children – Alusine Sillah and Abdul Karim Janneh.
A prosecution witness, Detective Police Constable 8582 Mariama Harding, attached to the Waterloo Police Division, said he recognised the accused persons and recalled 23 April, 2015 when a case of human trafficking was transferred to her for further investigation and that she obtained statement from both accused persons.
However, defence counsel Ishmael Philip Mammie objected to the tendering of the accused persons’ statements on the grounds that they were not obtained voluntarily and the signatures on them were not his clients’.
He said his clients were not given the opportunity to contact a lawyer when they were interrogated by the Waterloo Police, and that the accused did not understood the language in which the statement was obtained.
In his response, Prosecutor Bockarie promised to bring an expert to court who would ascertain that the thumb print on the statements belosng to the accused persons.
The matter continues.