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At Court Martial:

Accused says PW2 & 10 testified out of ‘malice and grudge’

March 23, 2015 By Patrick J. Kamara

Gbessay Koroma, the 7th accused in the court martial trial of 13 alleged mutinous soldiers, Friday testified that evidence adduced by the second and tenth prosecution witnesses – Sergeant Borbor Jalloh and Memunatu Jalloh, respectively – was out of “malice and grudge”.

During his evidence-in-chief last year, Sergeant Jalloh had told the court that the 7th accused had disclosed to him that they were secretly planning against their superiors and the government, and that the statement was recorded.

Memunatu Jalloh, the only civilian that testified for the prosecution, on the other hand, said the 7th accused had confided in her while they were in bed that he and other soldiers were planning something negative against their superiors.

Led in evidence by lawyer I.P. Mammy, Private Koroma – the 23rd defence witness – told Judge Advocate Otto During that Memunatu Jalloh was his girlfriend who had gotten pregnant. He said he did not accept the pregnancy because he was married but gave money for her to abort the pregnancy. This, according to the accused, angered the lady because she ‘had an unending love’ for him.

“Memunatu became angered and told me that she will not let me go free because I have disappointed her by not accepting the pregnancy. Since that time our relationship became sour and we had not been on speaking terms,” he said, adding that he was not surprised to see the lady in question falsely testifying against him.

The witness added that Sergeant Borbor Jalloh was a colleague soldier from whom he borrowed Le20,000 in January 2012 with promise to repay in February. He said when he went to repay the money the creditor asked for interest of Le10,000, which was not part of the agreement.

He said an argument ensued between them, but Sergeant Jalloh accepted the money with grudge, remarking that he was his senior in the army and a senior non-commissioned officer to manifest that to him.

“Since that time our relationship became sour,” he told the court.

Earlier in his evidence, Koroma told the court that he had diligently served the army for 16 years, noting that on 16 August, 2013 he was on duty when he saw a military police in a Land Rover Jeep, who stopped and requested him to board the vehicle.

He said one Captain Conteh interrogated him on their arrival at the headquarters of the military police whether he was aware of a secret meeting being held at the Saint Andrews Secondary School in the outskirt of Makeni. But he said he replied he had no idea of such meeting.

“The captain later ordered that I should be locked up in a guardroom till the other day when civil police officers arrived and took me to Freetown,” the witness said.

The witness was also cross-examined by state counsel Major Vincent Sowa.

Meanwhile, the matter was adjourned to 23 March.

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