Chief Justice opens 2018 High Court Criminal Session

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…424 criminal cases to be heard

September 19, 2018

By Regina Pratt

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Honourable Chief Justice Abdulai H. charm

The 2018 Criminal Session of the High Court of Sierra Leone has been officially opened Monday with the ceremonial parade by a detachment of the Sierra Leone Police, while the Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Abdulai H. Charm took the salute.

Hon. Justice Charm then proceeded to the courtroom to administer the call over of 424 cases of which 50 will be heard daily.

Some of the offences charged include, sexual penetration, robbery with aggravation, murder, larceny and other related cases, many of which were committed in 2017 and 2018.

The jurors for the 2018 criminal session were chosen from the Radisson Blu Hotel, Immigration Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Freetown City Council, Ministry of Health, Electricity Distribution and Supply Agency, Sierra Fisheries Company, Government Printing and Ministry of Works.

After the roll call, the Chief Justice praised the jurors that their attendance, thus noting that he expected all of them to attend court during the entire session as there are serious offences that can only be tried by judge and jurors.

 “This is a very sacred responsibility you have to carry,” he said and admonished them to report on a daily basis after they have been empanelled, noting that the new Criminal Procedures Act, which is yet to be enacted, imposes a fine on absentee jurors.

Director of Public Prosecution Suliaman Bah led the prosecution while Cecilia Tucker from the Legal Aid Board and other defence counsel represented the accused persons.

Abdul Kamara, who had been in prison since 2014 for the offence of sexual penetration of a child under 18 years old, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Another accused person, Mac Williams Junior, who had been in prison since 2013 for store breaking and larceny, was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Meanwhile, the call session continues throughout this week.