September 3, 2019
By Regina Pratt
Erstwhile Mayor of the Freetown City Council, Herbert George Williams, has yesterday been granted Le200 million bail after he made his third appearance before the lower court on alleged riotous conduct and other public order offences.
The magistrate also ordered that one surety should bail the accused and that the said surety should produce identity card and a title deed.
Williams, who was mayor of FCC between 2007 and 2012 under the All Peoples Congress (APC) ticket, faced 22 count charges including riotous conduct, disorderly behaviour, throwing missiles, malicious damage, grievous bodily harm, wounding with intent, assault occasionally bodily harm, threatening language, public insult and provocation and insulting conduct.
Police alleges that the accused committed the offence during a political rally organised by the APC on Monday, July 29, 2019, at Trera drive, Hamilton village.
State Counsel, Yusufu I. Sesay, told the magistrate that they intended to take a line of action that would ensure justice and speedy trial of the matter.
He said he was aware of the sensitivity of the matter and that he would proceed with it on the next adjourned date.
Defense Counsel, Melron Nicol Wilson, did not object to the application made by his colleague.
In a related development in the same courtroom, Western Rural District Council Chairman, Kasho Holland-Cole, who was charged separately on 22 count charges for his involvement in the violent clash on 29th July, 2019, also appeared before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie.
The chairman had earlier been granted bail in the same condition as the former.
Lawyer Sesay, led the first Prosecution Witness (PW),Josephine Jackson, who told the court that he recognised the accused person as being part of the rioters that entered her residence on July 29, 2019.
Halfway into her testimony, Lawyer Y. I. Sesay made an application that they would like to take a line of action which would be in the interest of justice and speedy trial.
Defense Lawyer, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai cautioned his colleague, adding that he was very anxious to see the evidence unfold in court.
He told the Bench that the accused is a sitting chairman of a district council and that he has lots of work to do, thus expediting the matter was his utmost concern.
At that juncture, the magistrate adjourned both matters to Monday September 16, 2019.
Meanwhile, the matter involving Karamoh Kabba and twenty-two others has been discharged in the magistrate court and sent to the High Court.
State counsel, I. Sesay cited Section 118 of the Criminal Procedure Act No. 32 of 1965 as amended to support his discharge application.