Lawyer urges discharge of 14 APC ‘rioters’

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January 14, 2019

By Regina Pratt

Counsel representing Zuliatu Cooper and 13 others, Lawyer Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, has called on the magistrate to discharge his clients on the grounds that the prosecution has no evidence against them, citing Section 94 of the Criminal Procedure Act No. 32 of 1965.

The said section states that when an accused person is in court and the prosecution does not appear, ‘the court shall dismiss the charge, unless for some reason it thinks fit to adjourn or further adjourn the hearing’.

Lawyer Koroma was speaking on Monday, January 14, 2019, before Principal Magistrate, Santigie Bangura presiding at Court No. 1.

“Prosecution has no case against the accused persons. This is manifested today as the prosecution has absent themselves without communicating to the court,” he argued, adding that the prosecution has no intention to adduce evidence for all accused persons.

Lawyer Koroma said some very senior citizens were held in police stations after they were randomly picked up by police, and that they have appeared in court three times without the prosecution making any attempt to lead witnesses.

However, Magistrate Bangura told the court that he would give the prosecution one more chance to bring forth their witnesses, but stated that if they fail to adhere on the next adjourned date, he would have no option but to grant the application of the defense.

Former Deputy Minister II of Health and Sanitation in the All Peoples Congress regime and thirteen others were before the court on four count charges ranging from riotous conduct, disorderly behaviour, throwing missiles to threatening languages contrary to Public Order Act of 1965.

On their second appearance, they were granted bail in the sum of one hundred million Leones each.

The matter will come up again on February 2nd, 2019.