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No indictment for 335 prisoners, 30 missing

… As September criminal session ends

NOVEMBER 23, 2015 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara & Hawa Amara

Assistant Superintendent of Prisons Services,  Jonathan Wilson has disclosed that a total of 335 inmates incarcerated at the Correctional Centre have not been indicted, while 30 prisoners whose names were the list presented at the close of the September Criminal Session of the High Court of Sierra Leone are unaccounted for.

While being questioned by State Counsel A.G.M. Bockarie on the jail delivery list which was marked as exhibit A1-20, Wilson stated that the correctional centre was constructed to house 335 male inmates and 21 females at the former Special Court detention facility in Freetown.

He disclosed that both centres currently host 1,848 inmates, with the male correctional centre at Pademba Road having 1,679 inmates, adding that overcrowding was a challenge to effective management of prisons. “We have 288 cells at the male correctional centre and 10 at the female centre. Normally [we allocate] five inmates per cell,” he disclosed.

The senior correctional centre officer added that 453 male and 9 female inmates are currently serving jail terms for more than four years, while another 288 male and 11 female inmates are serving jail terms below three years.

On the issue of indictment, he said 335 male and 19 female inmates are kept at the both facilities without indictment, while 270 male and 9 female were served with indictment for September session.

The judge said it was the responsibility of the Law Officers Department to serve indictments on remand prisoners, which according to him could help decongest the centre.

He said 13 inmates are on death roll, with another 18 serving life imprisonment.

However, the government has put a moratorium on the death penalty, with a view to giving the practice a statutory ban in the near future.

Meanwhile, Justice Miatta Samba, who closes the September Criminal Session of the High Court, frowned at inconsistencies in the Jail Delivery List after it emerged that names like popular herbalist Mbaimba Moi Foray and his co-accused Oreh Renner, who allegedly murdered Sydney Buckle (DJ Clef), were not on the list. The list also contained names of inmates that have already been discharged by the court.

Because of the many discrepancies on the list, the judge ordered the superintendent to prepare and submit a fresh list to the Office of the Attorney General and Judiciary latest Wednesday, 25 November, 2015. She also ordered the release of Jeanadu Mannah, Alusine Samai and Keni Jabbati with immediately effect.

The session will re-opened 30 November, 2015.

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