Police investigator testifies in treason trial

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By Yusufu S. Bangura

The sixth prosecution witness in the on-going treason trial of Amadu Koita and 11 others, Detective Inspector Mohamed Awaru Yahayah Kanneh attached at the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters as an investigator has testified before Justice Komba Kamanda.

Before the testimony of the sixth prosecution witness, state counsel, A. J M Bockarie, made an application for an amendment of the back of the indictment file where the names of the witnesses are listed, stating that he wanted the witness for the 5th accused to be replaced by Detective Inspector H. Mansaray and Detective Inspector M.A.Y Kanneh.

“My lord this application is in the interest of speedy trial, it is not to prejudice or embarrass the defense,” he said, citing Section 148(1) (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act No.32 of 1965.

The defense team said they will object to the application made by the prosecution.

The witness said on the 6th December 2023, he was on duty at the said station, when he investigated the 5th accused (Alima Hassan Bangura) who he had known before the said date as his colleague.

He testified that on the day in question, he was on duty at the station when he and Detective Inspector, Hawa Mansaray were assigned to investigate the 5th accused for various offense, adding that upon receipt of the instruction, they obtained statement from the accused.

The statement was later produced and tendered in court to form part of the court’s record.

After the statement of the 5th accused was tendered in court, the witness was asked to read the statement and while reading the statement of the accused, he said the accused had some conversations with one Marion through phone using an international number. He stated that after the phone was retrieved from the 5th accused, they extracted the conversations between the 1st and 5th accused persons.

According to the witness, the said phone where the conversations were made between the 1st and 5th accused is with the cyber security at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters and the conversations were extracted from the phone of the 5th accused with the number +447565261111.

When the said document was about to be tendered by the prosecutor, the defense Counsel representing the 5th accused M.J Kamara objected, stating that the source which is the phone is not before the court.

He added that the phone before the court is to determine if what is in the phone is the same as what is in the extract document.

While reading the statement of the 5th accused in court after the statement have been tendered, the witness said the accused told him that on Friday 3rd December 2023, she received a call from Koita who was introduced to her by her old time friend that he will be coming to Sierra Leone.

He said the 5th accused further told him that she was in her bathroom when the light went off and when she came out to ask her children to give her a touch light, she met an unknown man holding her children and threatened to kill her if she opens the door.

The witness continues to read that the accused told him that the 1st accused (Koita) took less than 15 minutes in her house before the police arrived.  

Under cross examination, by Lawyer M. J Kamara, the witness confirmed that the 5th accused told him that her phone did not have password at the time of the investigations.

 He said he can’t tell if the phone exchanges hands multiple times before reaching to him and the phone was given to him by PW1.

He further confirmed that he didn’t investigate the existence of the said Marion, but that the accused told him that she was having some conversation with him via an International number.

He confirmed that the 5th accused told him that her phone was hacked, and that he sent it to the cyber to ascertain whether it was hacked.

The defense said in page 40 of the accused’s statement, the witness asked in relation to the kids of the 5th accused, but the witness said the investigation revealed  that it was the 5th accused who opened the door for the 1st accused (Amadu Koita) for him to enter the house.

Lawyer S.A Conteh cross examined the witness on behalf of the 1st accused, who said the 5th accused told him that the said number belongs to Marion and not the 1st accused.

The witness said he was not part of the investigation team that investigated the 1st accused and that he didn’t read his statement.

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