October 20, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
One Abdul Kalia was yesterday sentenced to three years imprisonment at the Pademba Road Male Correctional Centre in Freetown after he was convicted on two count charges of conspiracy and larceny, contrary to the Larceny Act of 1916.
The accused was standing trial alongside one Aiah Jeremiah Ansumana in the Freetown High court presided over by Justice Miatta Samba for the aforementioned offences, but the latter was acquitted and discharged for want of evidence.
State Prosecutor, Ahmed J.M Bockarie had alleged that the duo on diverse dates between 1st August, 2014 and 31st January, 2015 conspired with unknown individuals to commit a larceny by stealing 12 drums of engine oil valued forty-two million Leones, property of one Kenedy Okenzie.
Reading her judgment, Justice Samba thanked the prosecutor for prosecuting the matter and for his reasoned address and further thanked Lawyer C. Blake from the Legal Aid Board for representing the convict throughout the trial.
She said there was an established rule that in all criminal cases, it was the duty of the prosecution to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt, and that the accused was also entitled to a discharge if no evidence was led against him.
She said the prosecution presented three witnesses who testified in the matter and closed its case on 12th July, 2016, while the accused persons were put on their election.
She continued that the accused persons opted to rely on their statement to the police.
Justice Samba said the 1st accused had admitted to the police that he indeed committed the crime, although he refused to do same in court.
She said the accused had told the police that he met a certain man and told him that he sells petroleum products at the black market.
She continued that the convict provided his office address to the said man and asked him to go along with four Jerry Cans, adding that the man was supposed to pay one hundred thousand Leones for each jerry can.
She narrated that the complainant arrested the convict during the transaction, but the buyer narrowly escaped.
“I am satisfied that the element of the offence of conspiracy and larceny contrary to the Larceny Act of 1916 are proven beyond all reasonable doubt. I therefore find the 1st accused, Abdul Kalia guilty of the offence of conspiracy as charged in count one and two of the indictment. I hereby sentence the convict to three years imprisonment commencing from the day he was arrested,” she ruled.