April 20, 2016 By Hawa Amara
Justice Komba Kamanda of the Freetown High Court yesterday granted Le100m bail to one Abubakarr Conteh, a juvenile who had taken more than two years in detention because no witness came forward to testify against him.
The accused had been charged with the alleged murder of one Mohamed Bah alias Orweako at Aberdeen beach on 20 December, 2013.
Justice Kamanda said the accused should produce two sureties who are resident owners of property valued in same sum within the Western Area, while bail should be approved by the Acting Master and Registrar.
Before Justice Kamanda stated the bail condition, defence counsel Cherry Blake informed the court that her client had been in custody since 11 January, 2014 and that he had appeared before Chief Justice Abdulai Cham, before his appointment, 24 times, without a single witness or complainant to prosecute the matter.
She noted that though the accused was charged with a very serious offence, murder, he was still entitled to his constitutional right.
She thus applied for bail pursuant to section 79 (1)and (6) of the Criminal Procedural Act No.32 of 1965, adding that the accused would not jump bail, adding that the Legal Aid Board would ensure accused person is always in court.
State prosecutor, Alieu Vandy Koroma, stated that the prosecution had been constrained to find witnesses, while the absence of jurors has also stalled the matter.
He said he had met with a social worker to help him trace witnesses, but was informed that some of the witnesses were out of the jurisdiction.
However, he was not averse to the grant of bail to the accused.
The matter continues on 3 May, 2016.