Court Martial: Judge Advocate awaits ruling after defense’s no case submission

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2032

By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

In a court martial hearing in Freetown on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, Judge Advocate Mark Ngegba adjourned the matter for ruling after both the prosecution and defense teams presented their submissions and replies.

Defense Counsel I. Kamara, representing Sergeant Momoh Kargbo, responded to the prosecution’s allegation that Kargbo traveled to Freetown without a valid pass, describing the accusation as baseless. Kamara argued that there was no evidence to support the prosecution’s claim that the pass issued to his client was invalid.

Kamara highlighted that during cross-examination, Sergeant Jolly, a witness, confirmed contact with Major P.L Turay, second in command of the FRU, where Kargbo was deployed. Kamara also referenced the voluntary caution statement of the accused, which confirmed that Kargbo had secured the necessary pass.

Kamara questioned whether traveling without a valid pass amounted to treason, conspiracy to commit treason, or murder, suggesting that it did not. He further challenged the prosecution’s claim that Kargbo traveled without a valid pass following a failed coup, calling it a fabrication unsupported by evidence.

The defense counsel noted that no witnesses or exhibits substantiated the prosecution’s claims. He emphasized that during an interview, Kargbo denied traveling to Lungi without a valid pass.

 Kamara recounted that Kargbo received a call on November 26 while at his brother’s house, and upon receiving the call, attempted to contact his superior but was unsuccessful. He then called a colleague, Sergeant Mattia, who advised him to return to his duty post.

Kamara argued that the prosecution’s assertion that Kargbo returned to his unit due to the failed coup setup was unfounded. He stated that out of the 37 prosecution witnesses, only two mentioned Kargbo, with one presenting his voluntary caution statement and the other providing call logs showing his location at the time.

Kamara concluded that the prosecution failed to present a prima facie case against Kargbo and urged the court to rule in his client’s favor, asserting that Kargbo had no case to answer.

The matter was adjourned to Thursday, June 27, 2024, for a ruling on both the defense’s no case submission and the prosecution’s reply.

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