Court Martial Trial: 16th accused calls for medical attention

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By Yusufu S Bangura

In the ongoing court martial trial, Warrant Officer Class Two (WO.2) Philip Adiaklie Turay, the 16th accused, has requested medical attention from the judiciary. Turay, attached to the Armed Forces Personnel Centre (AFPC) at Cockrile in Freetown, stood up during Wednesday’s proceedings with his right hand bandaged and addressed Judge Advocate Mark Ngegba.

Turay recounted that on November 25, 2023, during the failed coup attempt, he was shot in his right hand by an unknown assailant while working in his office. He was subsequently treated at 34 Military Hospital, where Dr. Nabieu attempted but failed to remove the bullet. Turay expressed that he is currently in pain and urgently needs medical care.

During this statement, Turay’s defense lawyer, H. M. Kofie, was absent. Judge Ngegba advised all accused persons to consult their lawyers before making statements in court.

Lawyer Ibrahim A. Kamara from the Legal Aid Board, representing 11 accused individuals, informed the court that he had submitted a no-case submission for the 15th accused. Lawyer Hassan Thullah, representing the 15th and 25th accused, also submitted his no-case submission for his clients. Lead prosecutor Joseph A.K. Sesay confirmed receiving three no-case submissions out of the nine expected.

Six accused persons have yet to file their no-case submissions. Lawyer Julian Cole, speaking for his colleagues who had not yet submitted, requested a one-week adjournment to complete their submissions. Cole emphasized their diligence in working through the records to ensure thorough submissions.

The prosecution requested additional time to review the submitted no-case submissions, indicating they would need a week to respond appropriately.

In his ruling, Judge Advocate Mark Ngegba denied Julian Cole’s application for an extension, noting that only three submissions had been received out of the nine expected. He mandated that the remaining accused persons submit their no-case submissions by 17:00 hours on the same day. The prosecution is required to respond to these submissions by June 19, 2024.

The court adjourned the matter to Tuesday, June 25, 2024, for further hearings.

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