Wife tells court that deceased was unable to walk
September 9, 2015 By Hawa Amara
Hannah Brown, wife of deceased Francis Haffner, who was allegedly murdered by eight police officers, yesterday told the court that her husband was unable to walk after he was released from police custody.
While testifying in court, the witness said she knew the accused persons and that on 29 May, 2015 she and her husband went to the Ark Community Centre on Robert Street for a Christian revival, and that she left the deceased to visit her friend at Niambana Street.
She said she was on her way home at around 1:00am when a friend of the deceased informed her that her husband had been arrested by some police officers and taken to the Central Police Station.
She said she went home and informed the deceased’s senior brother and sister, who decided to wait until in the morning to go to the police station.
The witness continued that at 7:00am she and the deceased’s elder son, Charlie Haffner Jr., went to the Central Police Station where they met him seated outside the station.
According to her testimony, the deceased told her the officers had tortured him throughout the night. She said she was introduced to the first accused, Inspector Bai Sankoh, as the individual that was dealing with the matter.
Madam Brown further told the court that the sixth accused, Alpha Conteh, requested the sum of Le300,000 to process the deceased’s bail, but they agreed on Le150,000.
She said that the first accused subsequently ordered the sixth accused to release the deceased but on condition that he (the deceased) report on Monday, 31 May at 10:00am for the matter to be charged to court.
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“He was unable to walk after he was released on bail. He was carried by his son who helped him into a taxi at Lightfoot Boston Street. He complained serious body pain while we reached home and could not even take a bath for himself,” the witness stated, adding that they later took him to the Connaught Hospital, but died at the entrance of the hospital.
She said they went to the Central Police Station and made a report and that statement was obtained from them, while the deceased was taken to the mortuary for postmortem examination.
The accused persons, Inspector John Bai Sankoh, Momoh Mahmud Bangura, Gibril Bangura, John Karimu, Issa Sankoh, Alpha Conteh, Mohamed Sahid Kamara and Mary Nallo, were arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 on one count of manslaughter, contrary to law.
Assistant Superintendent Samuel Kamara is prosecuting the matter.
The accused persons were denied bail and remanded at the male correctional centre on Pademba Road and the female correctional centre on Jomo Kenyatta Road, respectively.
The matter continues on 15 September.