Military personnel acquitted, discharged of murder

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By Jeneba A.Conteh

Lans Corporal Sahr Daramy, was on Friday, November  4,2022, at High Court in Freetown,acquitted and discharged by Justice Adrian Fisher after the twelve-man jury  returned a verdict of not guilty to the offense of murder.

Daramy was standing trial on a count of murder contrary to law and the charge sheet states that the accused on 19 December, 2020, in Freetown, murdered Abu-Bakarr Conteh. 

The accused upon his arraignment, pleaded not guilty to the offence and state prosecutor, M. Kekura, made an application for the matter to be tried by judge and jury. 

Justice Fisher in his summing up address to the jurors said the prosecution brought a case against Daramy on a count indictment of murder.

The judge states that the prosecution called seven witnesses to establish their case, adding that the burden and standard of proof against Daramy rest on the prosecution.

Justice Fisher further stated that Alhaji Papani Fadika, testified that Daramy is a soldier and a friend, adding that they were at Baw-baw village when Daramy complained that his phone had got missing and that he suspected two boys- Ibrahim and Abubakar Conteh. 

The witness said the two boys were fighting and that it was Daramy who separated them and left the scene to purchase cigarette.

Fadika in his testimony stated that upon Daramy‚Äôs return he saw both boys tied up, and that the deceased whom he had suspected of having his missing phone untied himself and tried to escape when he was caught up by Daramy. 

He said Daramy observed that the deceased was weak and that he handed him over to his uncle who identified the deceased as family and that the uncle left with the deceased and was later pronounced dead. 

Justice Adrian Fisher continued that Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma, Chief Medical Pathologist, testified that the deceased died of hemorrhagic shock, spinal cord injuries and blunt force injury on his neck.

He went on that the cause of death was unnatural as the ribs of the deceased was damaged leading to excess bleeding, adding that the deceased was physically assaulted. 

Justice Fisher said during cross examination, defense counsel enquired from the government pathologist, if a person in such state he described would die the same day and  Dr.Owizz responded that a person in such state with injuries of such nature would die the same day.

Justice Fisher therefore cautioned the accused to be mindful of his actions, saying that he is an army officer with a service of twenty-nine years. 

Defence Counsel representing the accused, Charles Israel Williams, appreciated the judgment and thanks the jurors for the time they took throughout the proceeding.

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