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At Court Martial…

Defence evidence casts doubt over prosecution case

January 20, 2015  By Alusine Sesay

Defence evidence, a Daily Occurrence Book (DOB) tendered in court as exhibit ‘A’ DW2, has cast doubt over the testimony of second prosecution witness Sergeant Mamadu Borbor Jalloh, who had testified against first accused Pvt. Momoh Conteh at the ongoing court martial of 13 alleged army mutineers.

However, lead prosecutor Gerald Soyei vehemently objected to the tendering of the evidence, but Judge Advocate Otto During overruled his objection after a heated argument in court.

While testifying for the prosecution last year, Sergeant Jalloh, who had apparently played the role of an undercover agent to investigate and ascertain rumours about an alleged planned mutiny, told the court that the first accused met him at his (Jalloh’s) Teko Barracks residence on 14 August 2013.

Sergeant Jalloh had testified that the first accused had asked his wife to loan him a cup of tea and that his wife refused for fear that the accused would not repay the loan, although he later served him a cup of tea gratis.

He also had testified that he accompanied the first accused after the latter had finished drinking his tea, and enquired about the planned mutiny. He had testified that Pvt. Momoh Conteh revealed everything they had planned, including to behead President Ernest Bai Koroma and his junior brother.

However, second defence witness, Sergeant Ekundayo Vincent, who is commander of the guardroom at Teko Barracks, told the court yesterday that Pvt. Momoh Conteh was locked in the guardroom on the day Sergeant Jalloh alleged they had the conversation – 14 August, 2013.

While being cross-examined, the defence witness told the court that the first accused was detained at the guardroom for about a week, before he was later handed over to the military police.

When asked whether detained soldiers are allowed to leave the guardroom under escort to search for food outside, the witness replied that because no food is provided for detained soldiers at the guardroom, they can be allowed time out in search of food, but under strict escort.

The matter continues on Wednesday, 21 January.

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