Accused says: ‘I was on leave and preparing for my WASSCE’
March 3, 2015 By Alusine Sesay & Patrick J. Kamara
The 12th accused person in the ongoing trial of 13 alleged mutineers, Private Musa Fabai, yesterday told the court he was on leave from 1 to 28 August, 2013, the period prosecutors claim the alleged mutiny was planned.
Led in evidence by defence counsel Thomas Beah, Private Fabai, who was testifying as the 16th defence witness, told the court that although he was in Makeni he was busy preparing to take the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) from 6 – 10 August, 2013.
When asked whether he was given a leave pass, he answered in the affirmative and told the court that he had handed over the pass to the investigating officer, Detective Police Constable 7667 Sesay, during his interrogations at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, but noted that the pass was not returned to him. He however showed the leave stomp to the court which was tendered as defence exhibit C1-10.
The soldier had pleaded ‘not guilty’ to six counts of conspiracy to commit mutiny and other related charges brought by the state.
State prosecutor Vincent Sowa, while cross-examining the accused, countered that the latter had failed to tell the police he collected a leave pass. But the accused insisted that he gave the pass to the investigating officer to photocopy and attached it to his statement but that the original copy was not returned to him.
At this juncture, the defence counsel sought leave from the judge advocate to subpoena the Director of CID to produce the accused person’s leave pass, which was granted as the prosecution did not contest the application.
In a bid to corroborate his client’s alibi that he was indeed on leave during the time prosecutors allege the mutiny was planned, Beah drew the attention of the court to the evidence of first prosecution witness Warrant Officer Class II Abu Bakarr Dumbuya, who had confirmed to the court that the 12th accused was on leave from August 1st to 10, 2013.
Earlier, 18165470 Warrant Officer Class II Francis Foday Kamara, in his testimony, told the court that both the 10th and 11th accused persons (Private Mustapha Quee and Kellie Kamara) were under his supervision as arms store men.
He said the two men were responsible to open the arms store and give arms to the night and essential guards after observing due procedures, adding that there was no reported case of loss of arms or breakage into the arms store.