July 6, 2015 By Alusine Sesay
The fate of 13 alleged military mutineers now lies in the hands of Judge Advocate Otto During, who is due to pronounce his verdict in four weeks’ time.
The trial of the alleged mutineers started in April 2014 with the prosecution presenting 12 witnesses who all testified in the matter.
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After the prosecution closed their case, the defence presented a no case submission, but the Judge Advocate ruled that 13 of the 14 officers have cases to answer, while Corporal Gibao Kamara was set free after he was adjudged to have no case to answer.
In a bid to sustain their defence of ‘not guilty’,the defence called witnesses who corroborated testimonies of the 13 accused persons, before they closed their case.
Meanwhile, the prosecution then addressed the court, followed by the defence who argued that the former had failed to provide sufficient evidence to link the accused persons to the charges levied against them.
The accused were charged with 8 counts, including mutiny, conspiracy to commit mutiny, and failure to suppress mutiny. They pleaded not guilty to all the offences charged.
The accused persons have been incarcerated at the Pademba Road Male Correctional Centre for nearly two years.
They are represented by defence counsels Julius N. Cuffie, Robert B. Kowa, who represents the 14th accused, Ishmael Philip Mammy, representing the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th accused persons, and Thomas Beah, who is advocate for the 11th, 12th and 13th accused persons.
The Judge Advocate will be guided by six experienced military officers who constitute the court martial board and are expected to guide him reach the all important decision.