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Journalist Samura’s murder trial starts in High Court

August 27, 2020

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Journalist Ibrahim Samura is mourned by Sierra Leone's media ...
Samura died three months after he was allegedly beaten by the accused

The Judiciary of Sierra Leone have empaneled twelve jurors to preside over the on-going alleged murder trial of Journalist Ibrahim Samura.

Samura was allegedly murdered by the erstwhile mayor of Freetown City Council Herbert George Williams and Abu Bakarr Daramy-a staunch supporter of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC).

Police say the two men were among people that beat up the journalist during the 2018 rerun election which eventually led to his death.

These jurors will aid the presiding Judge, Augustine Musa, to arrive at the final verdict of the matter.

Both accused were in 2019 charged to court with the offences of conspiracy and murder contrary to law.

State counsel Umu Sumaray alleges that Herbert George Williams and Abu Baker Daramy on Saturday 31st March, 2018 in Freetown murdered one Ibrahim Samura, former Editor of the New Age Newspaper.

Addressing the jurors on the fact of the matter, State attorney Umu Sumaray, said the deceased Ibrahim Samura together with his co-journalists-Thomas Dixion and Mamud Tim Kargbo was monitoring the 2018 elections when the deceased received a call from an anonymous individual, who informed him about an incident happening at Lumley, west of the city.

She further stated that the deceased went to Lumley and noticed that a particular individual had been attacked by the accused persons and some unknown individuals which prompted him to record the incident on camera.

She said while on the process, both accused, together with the former Deputy Minister of Trade Ibrahim Washigay Mansaray, Sanusie Bruski and other persons-not before the court, rushed at the deceased and beat him up with dog chains and baseball bat.

Lawyer Sumaray said the accused later made statement at the Lumley police station together with his colleagues, where he was provided with a police medical report form.

 She added that despite the accused sought medical attention, he eventually died on 6th June, 2018.

The State Prosecutor canvassed the jury to listen carefully to the pieces of evidence as they unfold.

“We are not in court to persecute but to prosecute”, she said.

The first prosecution witness, Detective Police Constable James J. Collins attached to the Major Incident unit at the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters, told the court he was on duty in October 2019, when he received a case and an enquiry file of an alleged murder matter in respect of the accused persons.

He said the filed was assigned to him together with his colleague Detective Inspector G.K Williams for onward Investigations.

The Detective said the file contain statements of the deceased, and witnesses, and an apology letter from the APC amongst other documents.

He added that on October 29, 2019, he charged the accused separately with conspiracy and murder.

The first accused was represented by Lawyer Melron Nicol- Wilson and a host of others, while the second accused was represented by Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya and Co.

Both accused have been earlier granted Le.500 million bail after spending almost a year in remand custody.

The matter has been adjourned for Tuesday 1st September, 2020.

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