Prosecution to line up 17 witnesses in court martial trial

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January 10, 2019

By Ibrahim K Turay

The lead State Prosecutor, Allieu Vandi Koroma, on Tuesday disclosed that the prosecution intends to bring seventeen witnesses to prove their case against SL/1246 Captain Patrick Edwin Kamara, RSLAF 18165301 Warrant Officer Class one, Samuel Conteh, and RSLAF 18167256 Warrant Officer Class two, Abu Bakarr Jalloh.

The soldiers are before the court martial on five counts contrary to the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces Act of 1961 and the Larceny Act of 1916.

Lawyer Vandi had earlier applied for the Bench to allow him obtain statement from additional witnesses whilst the trial is in progress, but the defense objected to that application on the grounds that it would prejudice their case.

However, the Judge Advocate, Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens, neither refused nor granted the application, but told the court that any application should be backed by law and that he would rule when both parties served on him the necessary authorities.

Meanwhile, the prosecution also led their second witness, Albert Nyakeh Bio, Logistic and Procurement Officer at the Presidential Lodge, who testified that he contacted the first prosecution witness, Shaku Swaray, to fix the pipe running to the cesspit.

He said when they arrived at the site closed to the Presidential Lodge, he directed him to dig a manhole, but Swaray suggested that they find an old cesspit around as an alternative.

He said Swaray moved ’30 metres away from the main building where he saw the cesspit and tried to open it.

The witness testified that after few minutes, Swaray called his attention to something he had discovered in the cesspit.

“When I went there, I noticed that they are ammunitions. But we were not able to open it fully which made us to alert some military officers who were around to help us open the cesspit. I saw large cache of ammunition,” he testified.

The witness said he also called some police officers to witness what they saw at the scene. He said few hours later, some senior military officers at the lodge came to the scene, together with the deputy Minister of Internal Affairs,Lahai Lawrence Leema.

Also, the fourth prosecutions witness, Captain Silvanus Sheriff, Head of Investigation in the military, said he knew his colleagues as personnel attached to former President Earnest Koroma.

The witness, whose job includes screening military officers that should be attached to the presidency, said he went together with some Criminal Investigations Department officers to the scene.

“I discovered that there were bunch of ammunitions in the cesspit.
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And I was told that it is one Albert Bio that discovered the said ammunition. I immediately asked two of the officers to remove all the ammunition in the cesspit,” he said

The military investigator said there were 178 anti-aircraft rounds of 12.7mm AA rounds and 1,606 AA rounds of 14.5 mm in the cesspit.

The officer said he later ordered that the rounds be deposited into sacks and handed over to the CID.