August 26, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The presiding Judge in the murder trial of Solomon Bondi and Hector Sesay Wednesday refused bail to the accused on the grounds that they are standing trial for a capital offence, adding that if granted bail they might not avail themselves in court always.
Reading his ruling to a bail application made by defense counsel H.M. Gevao, Justice Monfred Sesay said the accused are standing trial in his court on three count charges of conspiracy, robbery and murder, which are very serious offences in law.
He said the defense counsel in his bail application stated that before the commencement of the matter in the High Court both accused persons were on bail and availed themselves at the High Court at the commencement of the trial.
He said the defense counsel further submitted that since the commencement of the trial in May, 2016 the prosecution has not presented any witness to testify in the matterand pleaded that if bail was granted the accused would always be present in court.
However, Justice Sesay noted that section 91 of the Criminal Procedure Act says a person charged with murder should not be granted bail at the lower court, except by a judge, and furthered that the Magistrate who conducted the preliminary investigation should not have granted bail to both accused persons because he did not have the powers to do so.
“On my own mind, if I grant bail to the accused persons for such charges that they are standing trial in this court, the responses to make themselves to the court will be very slow. I therefore refuse bail,” he ruled.
According to the prosecution, the accused persons were indicted in the High Court on three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, robbery with aggravation and murder, contrary to law.
The prosecution alleges that the accused persons – Solomon Bondi and Hector Sesay – on 1 January, 2015 conspired with some unknown persons to murder an Operation Support Division officer, Daniel Sallieu Kamara, who was stationed at No.9 Off Beckley Lane, Tengbeh Town, west of Freetown.
The accused persons are also alleged to have on the same date conspired with some persons unknown to commit a felony – robbery with aggravation.