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DJ Clef murder trial…

Defense says pathologist report a ‘riddle’ as 8 September judgement date set

August 29, 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

Lawyer Pious M. Sesay, representing second accused Foday Amara Kamara in the DJ Clef murder trial, has described the autopsy report of pathologist Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma as a ‘riddle’.

The defence counsel was making a ‘no case’ submission before High Court Judge, Justice Alusine Sesay, presiding in the matter between the State and Mbaimba Moiforay alias LA Chocolate, Foday Amara Kamara, and Avril Oladoreh Renner. The trio is alleged to have conspired to murder popular disc jockey David Sydney Buckle, alias DJ Clef.

Another defence counsel, Ishmael Philip Mammie, made a ‘no case’ submission last Wednesday, thus, it was the turn of Pious M. Sesay and Hindolo M. Gevao, representing the second and third accused persons respectively, to make theirs.

Lawyer Sesay was the first to take the podium in the crowded court. He said since the prosecution had chosen to rely on circumstantial evidence, it was clear that there was no direct evidence from all of their witnesses.

Sesay Esq. told the 12-man jury that the forensic report of the pathologist was inconsistent with testimonies of the seventeen prosecution witnesses summoned by Director of Public Prosecution Sulaiman A. Bah to prove the prosecution’s case.

“Dr. Owizz’s report makes a riddle. The jury is now enjoying two colours – the witnesses said red and the pathologist says brown, which raises discrepancy. And the law says if there is any doubt in a criminal matter you leave it in favour of the accused person,” said the defence counsel.

He urged the jury to return with a verdict of ‘not guilty’ as according to him, in a murder trial there must be direct evidence of who did what.

He told the court that the armed police guard, Ibrahim Hassan, whom the prosecution had urged the judge and the jury to pay close attention to his testimony, was not a reliable witness.

According to him, the police officer should have reported the incident of missing property just after his routine check, but failed to do so until he was summoned by investigators.

He reminded the court that his client had said in his voluntary caution statement that he was on the verge to handing himself over to the police when he heard that his boss LAC has been arrested.

“As he approached the Aberdeen Police Station he overheard a group of people saying ‘If we see any of LAC’s boys we will stab him’ and this created fear in my client’s mind,” he told the court.

He said there was also evidence before the court that his client went to hand himself over to the Police at Motema Police Station in Kono and that he never destroyed his sim card willfully.

On the issue of call logs, he submitted that the prosecution would have brought the call logs of the deceased to ascertain who last spoke to him before his demise.

He said the allegation about the closure of the gate from inside was false because Claudius, who was the daytime security, locked the gate and went away with the key, as he expected the night guard to bring his own key and open the gate.

He noted that there was no evidence before the court to prove conspiracy as his client was never aware of the party or where the alleged incidence took place, which indicated that there was no agreement between them.

He submitted that the evidence of the armed guard revealed that there was no major incident reported at the party and that his client never spoke to the deceased.

He said the prosecution failed to disprove that a certain lady had said that he saw DJ Clef with a fair in complexion lady outside the compound.

“I beg you to disbelieve the prosecution’s case as there are major inconsistencies in them,” he pleaded to the jury.

Speaking on behalf of the third accused, Lawyer Gevao said his client was only in custody because she organised the party at the said residence, which was in contravention of State Emergency Regulations at the time.

He averred that God was punishing his client because she disobeyed the State, and not for the death of DJ Clef as she never invited the deceased nor did she bore any grudge against him.

He said directly or circumstantially, there was no evidence as the twenty-six exhibits pointed at no nexus to his client.

He said the statement of his client was corroborated by evidence of the third prosecution witness.

The one year plus trial started at the Magistrates’  Court, presided over by the then Magistrate Komba Kamanda, who committed it to the High Court after a Section 136 application under the Criminal Procedure Act 1965, for a speedy trial.

To prove its case against the accused persons, the prosecution summoned seventeen witnesses who testified in the matter, and tendered twenty-six exhibits.

The trio was dragged to court after DJ Clef allegedly went missing at a birthday party organised by the third accused at the residence of the first accused on 22 May last year.

The presumed decomposed corpse of the popular disc jockey was later discovered at Murray Town cemetery, with the discovery triggering a huge public backlash.

A video clip tendered in court on 30th March, 2016 by freelance photojournalist Harold Cyril Smith showed the deceased in red underwear, part of his leg swarmed by flies, while a stray dog was busy feasting on the body.

Moiforay, 24, is reportedly a businessman, traditional doctor and herbalist. He has four siblings, including his twin partner. He is the employer of the second accused Kamara. He had chosen to rely on statement he made to the police when put on his election at the close of the prosecution’s case earlier this month.

Second accused Foday Amara Kamara also chose to rely on his statement. The 29-year-old is the employee of the first accused, whom he started working for in March 2015 until they were arrested in December.

Born in April 1989, Avril Renner, until her arrest traded in cosmetics. She claimed to have organized the party at the residence of the first accused because of security as large gathering were not allowed during the Ebola outbreak.

On 28th May, 2015 an indictment for conspiracy to murder and murder was read to the accused persons, with all of them denying the charges.

During the course of the trial, the judge cautioned Mbaimba Moiforay for his fashionable dress code. He has since removed his dreadlocks.

Early last week, the prosecution told the court in their final address that none of their witnesses had testified that they saw either of the accused persons murdering the deceased as they relied on circumstantial evidence.

Meanwhile, the judge has set 8 September, 2016 to hand down judgment in the matter.

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