August 15, 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
Chief Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm last Friday discharged one Amara Adekalie Bangura, who was standing trial for sexual penetration of a child under the age of consent.
The accused person had been remanded for the past three years without bail and Prosecutor Allieu Vandy Koroma had not summoned any witness to testify in the matter.
On the last adjourned date, Legal Aid Lawyer, Cecelia Tucker, made an application for the release of her client on the grounds that no witness has testified to implicate the accused.
The prosecution had alleged that the 27-year-old sexually penetrated a child under the age of consent on 30 September, 2013 at Mabella, a slum community east of Freetown.
Justice Charm noted that the accused person had been coming to court but the prosecution had stalled because of the non-attendance of witnesses.
“The accused is entitled to speedy and fair trial, but since this is not forthcoming, the court is therefore left with no option but to discharge the accused for want of prosecution,” he ruled, adding that the discharge was not a bar to further prosecution.
He told the prosecutor that the court was willing and ready to proceed with the matter at any time they have their witnesses ready to prosecute the accused.
Also in the same court, one Mohamed Fofanah was remanded at the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown for the same offence.
The accused chose to rely on statement he had made to the police and to call on witnesses. But the Judge told him that the witnesses can only testify on his character.
Meanwhile, if Fofanah is found wanting, the maximum sentence would be 15 years imprisonment.