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‘I never partook in secret meetings’

…accused tells Court Martial

January 29, 2015 By Alusine Sesay 

Fourth accused person in the ongoing court martial trial of 13 alleged military mutineers, 18164033 Corporal M. Massaquoi, yesterday testified in court that he had a busy work schedule for 24 hours and denied partaking in secret meetings allegedly held at Teko Barracks in Makeni to stage a mutiny and overthrow the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma.

He noted that save the 2nd and 5th accused persons, he knew 10 of his co-accused, whom he said were colleagues deployed at Face II in Teko Barracks before they were arrested and charged with mutiny.

The accused testified that he was at Teko Barracks at all times, and had never asked for a welfare pass or declared absent without official leave (AWOL) throughout the month of August 2013.

According to him, he would report for muster parade at exactly 7am and go off duty at 4pm, and that his duties included participation in the construction of a canteen from 8am to 4pm and performing guard duty at the Quarter Master’s Office from 5pm to 6am.

While being cross-examined by lead prosecutor Gerald Soyie, the accused insisted that he had a busy scheduled and worked for 24 hours without break, including on Sundays.

When asked whether he would go home after guard duty at 6am, the accused replied: “I never went to rest after duty at 6am but would report for muster parade and take up duty at the canteen.”

He further testified that he could read a watch and tell the time and that he had watched the time when reporting for duty, but noted he could not tell the total number of hours that make a day.

According to him, he would be alone on guard duty and never slept while on duty at night, and denied using the shift as an opportunity to plan mutiny with the 10 accused persons.

He also said the 10 accused persons he knew were not part of soldiers detailed to help in the construction of the canteen.

He said it was not normal routine to inform them about command group meeting at Teko Barracks in Makeni and that he was never given impromptu orders to provide security at the meeting venue.

The 4th accused and his co-accused have all denied eight charges of mutiny, conspiracy to mutiny and failure to report a mutiny, which the state prosecutors charged them with.

The trial continues.

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