- Pathlogist tells court
July 31, 2015 By Hawa Amara
Ballistic expert Joseph Abu Bakarr Sannoh yesterday testified against one Osman Conteh, erstwhile Operational Support Division (OSD) personnel, who allegedly murdered one Alimamy Kamara at his residence on Victoria Street in Freetown, few weeks ago.
The arms examiner attached to the Science Support Unit at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, told the court that his duties include examining fire arms handled by officers on the basis of the principles of public safety. He said he also examines ammunitions to determine their calibre and fire arms capable of housing them.
The witness told the court that on 17 July, 2015 his deputy forwarded specimen of one fire arm to him which contained 18 live rounds of nine millimeter ammunition, made by Israeli military industry. He said the package also contained an empty magazine, 20 rounds of empty shells of nine millimetre cartridges, and a fragmented lead injector in respect of the case.
He told the court that on the same date, the empty 20 round shells were examined to ascertain whether they had been used, adding that the examination proved that the butt of the fire arm was found foul, with traces of gunshot residue found on the breath face and injection box.
He said a written report was subsequently prepared, dated and signed, and witnessed by his colleague, while the fire arm was given to the Exhibit Clerk for safekeeping.
The matter is prosecuted by state counsel Umu Sumaray, while the accused is represented by defence counsel F.B. Conteh.
The accused was arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 after he was arrested for allegedly gunning down the deceased at his Victoria Street residence earlier this month.
A press conference at the Sierra Leone Police headquarters in Freetown subsequently announced his dismissal from the force. He was then charged with murder.
HRC trains staff on monitoring human rights & businesses
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone, with support from the UNDP, yesterday commenced a two-day training to strengthen the capacity of their staff to be able to monitor human rights issues and businesses in Sierra Leone.
The aim of the training held at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex, Kingtom, is to enhance the commission to be more responsive in the area of business and human rights.
Sierra Leone had faced a boom in the area of multinational companies investing in the country and there has been evidence of flagrant violations of human rights of citizens and also land degradation in the areas of operations by companies.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, Brima A. Sheriff, thanked the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for providing the required funding to organize the training.
He described the training as very vital to the work of the commission in monitoring businesses and human rights across the length and breadth of the country.
He encouraged staff members to pay attention to the training and participate fully because Commissioners of the HRC-SL had also benefitted from such training.
The training instructor, Dr. Nana Busia, looked at the general principles to guide and inform the development of a monitoring manual.
The manual would enable the commission to train stakeholders to monitor the situation of businesses and human rights, and ultimately to improve human rights regimes in the country, which are prerequisites for peace consolidation and economic development.
The guiding principles on business and human rights which seeks to implement the human rights obligations to protect and respect, and remedy situations, has been hailed as a very useful framework in enhancing the protection of human rights by business enterprises.