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Magistrate grants Le800m bail to accused persons

February 2, 2015 By Patrick J. Kamara

Presiding magistrate of the Pademba Road Magistrates’ Court No.2, Mohamed Seray-Wurie, Friday (30 January) granted a rigid Le100 million bail each to eight accused persons, with two sureties each in like sum, and with all the sureties expected to present their title deeds to the Master and Registrar of the High Court for approval.

The rigid bail condition levied on Alhaji Abass Conteh, Alpha Kamara, David Browne, Posseh Kamara, Harold Kanu, Nanah Conteh, Beatrice Browne and Edith Bell came after 12 weeks of preliminary investigation into an alleged wounding and assault on three bailiff officers attached to the Pademba Road Magistrates’ Court.

Defence counsel Antoinette I.O. Door had pleaded with the magistrate to grant her clients flexible bail conditions before committing the case to the High Court, as according to her, the accused persons have been on remand throughout the preliminary investigations.

She added that the octet have credible and reliable sureties who were ready to enter into cognizance for them.

Police prosecutor Inspector Agatha Heals, however, objected to bail on the ground that the offences for which the accused persons were standing trial were grave.

She noted that riot against bailiffs was a common phenomenon among youth, and that it was incomprehensible that youth could attack bailiffs who were acting on court orders.

Magistrate Seray-Wurie upheld the prosecution’s argument for denial of bail, and said he was convinced the latter had adduced sufficient evidence connecting the accused persons to the offences they were charged with.

“Having considered very seriously the particulars of offence, testimonies of prosecution witnesses and the statements of the accused persons to the police, I am with the firm conviction that the prosecution has adduced sufficient evidence that connects the accused to the offences they have been charged with. I thus commit them to the High Court for trial,” the magistrate ruled.

The prosecution had alleged that on Tuesday, 21 October 2014, the accused had maliciously wounded complainants Josiah Gerald Perry, Saidu Kamara and Edward Momoh Conteh at Babadorie, Lumley, west of Freetown.

The prosecution also alleged that the accused persons had conducted themselves in a riotous manner and disorderly behaviour while throwing missiles, as well as inflicted multiple stab wounds on the complainants.

It remains unclear whether the accused met the rigid bail condition as at press time.

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