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Sierra Leone
Saturday, June 25, 2022
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Murder accused awaits judgment

By Ibrahim Kabba Turay 

Justice John Bosco Allieu has slated June 22,2022, as judgement day for Bernett Y. Solomon , who is before the court for allegedly killing 24-year-old Mariatu Pessima  on 23 December, 2019, at Waterloo.

Prior to fixing the date, the judge told the accused person to open her case in defense.

He provided her with three options- to testify from the dock, take the witness stand and testify on oath or rely on her statement made to police.

The accused person chose the last option and added that she would want to call witnesses to testify in his defense. The judge, however, recorded it and asked the prosecution and the defense to give their closing addresses.

In his closing address, state prosecutor Alberta Kargbo, told the judge and the jury that the accused was charged with one count of murder contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

Lawyer Kargbo said she tendered several exhibits and summoned five prosecution witnesses, including the Government Consultant Pathologist, Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma, who established the causes of death.

She said the deceased died after the accused hit her, but told the police that the deceased had a fight with her while having some bitter argument with her.

 She said the accused’s husband, Mr. Pessima said in her testimony in court that, it was the accused that informed her that his daughter had passed way at the hospital.

The state prosecutor narrated that the prosecution witness No.3 had told the court that when the deceased died, the accused never reported the accident to the police.

On his part, defense counsel from the Legal Aid Board, C. Tucker, said the burden of proof solely rests on the shoulders of the prosecution and that any iota of doubt would go in favour of the accused.

She argued that the prosecution had not presented any witness to show that they saw the accused beating the deceased or saw the accused killing the 24-year-old deceased.

She further submitted that the prosecution had not presented any exhibit or witness to support their case on whether the accused was telling lies about the accident or not.

She concluded that they had much doubt in the case of the prosecution as to establish the guilt of the accused person.

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