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Makeni Riot

Defense counsel further cross examines police witness

September 29, 2020

By Yusufu S. Bangura

On Monday 28th September, 2020, lead defense counsel, Wara Serry Kamal, further cross examined the police investigator, Detective Police Constable 9268 Joseph Jay Collins, in respect of the 13 Makeni rioters.

While being cross examined by Lawyer Kamal, the witness said he was the one that took statement from all the accused persons. 

He added that the 2rd accused told him that he was at his barbing shop when he was arrested by unknown military personnel.

The witness said based on the report of the arresting officer, the 2nd accused was arrested at the scene during the Makeni riot and that he could not ascertain the location of the barbing shop to the police, hence they did not bother to cross check whether he was really at his shop at the time of the incident.

He said the matter was properly investigated, but could not comment on the alleged killing of six civilians by security personnel, because he is not resident in Makeni.

The witness continues that the charges put to the accused persons were confirmed based on the evidence, stating that about 50 people were arrested during the riot, albeit some released by the police because of their conditions.

He told the court that the 3rd accused was not charged with malicious damage at the EGTC compound, but rather he was charged with malicious damage done at the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) office and  participated in the Makeni riot.

 He said that the investigating team went to Makeni to confirm whether the incident was true and whether the accused persons were involved in the riot. 

The witness added that the 5th accused was arrested at one garage in Mabenteh.

He further told the court that all those that were arrested during the riot and brought to Freetown were men and the 9th accused told him that he don’t know where the electricity machines were located in Makeni.

“The police proffer charges without fear or favour of anybody and the 13 accused persons were involved in public disturbances which they are now standing trial for,” he said during cross examined. 

Meanwhile, Magistrate Mark Ngegba presiding at Pademba Road Court No. 2 remanded the 13 accused persons and adjourned the matter to Friday 2nd October at 1pm.

The state was represented by Yusuf Isaac Sesay.

The thirteen Makeni rioters including, Amadu Kamara, Idrissa Koroma, Thamiu Kamara and ten others were charged with seven counts of conspiracy to commit felony, carrying offensive weapon, disorderly behaviour, among other offences, but they have denied the charges.

The state alleges that the accused persons between Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July, 2020, within the Makeni City, Bombali District, conspired with other persons unknown to commit felony to wit carrying offensive weapons.

The state prosecutor also claims that the accused persons also injured innocent people and maliciously damaged property worth thirty nine million, seven hundred thousand Leones, belonging to the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) regional office at No.7 Kamal Street.

He also alleges in count seven that the first accused maliciously damaged a property belonging to the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) at Nicole Street.

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