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Robbery matter goes to High Court

OCTOBER 1, 2014 By Hawa Amara

Magistrate Komba Kamanda of the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.2 yesterday committed to the High Court a robbery matter involving three accused persons who are alleged to have robbed the complainants property worth over 25 million Leones.

The accused persons – Mohamed Kamara, Abu-Bakarr Conteh and Samuel Augustine Roath – were arraigned on four counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, to wit robbery with aggravation contrary to law, and robbery with aggravation contrary to Section 23(1)(a)of the Larceny Act of 1916 as repealed  and replaced by Section 20, Act No.16 of 1971.

According to the prosecution, the accused on 12 June, at No.14 Upper Gbendebu, Goderich, conspired together with unknown individuals to rob Mohamed Conteh and Doris Conteh property worth Le25,105,000.

In his ruling, Magistrate Kamanda stated that the prosecution relied on the evidence of their witnesses and that the first prosecution witness gave evidence that the accused broke into their premise and stole property worth over 20 million Leones while they were asleep.

He said the witnesses told the court that the accused assaulted them and even attempted to rape one of their daughters.

He said one of the witnesses identified a certain picture that was tendered in court and that the said picture bore the looks of the second accused person.

Magistrate Kamanda ruled that the evidence before the court was not only sufficient but overwhelming and added: “I therefore commit the matter to the High Court for further trial.”

The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty of the offences they were charged with, and revealed they would produce witnesses to prove their innocence at the High Court.

Defence counsel M.P. Sesay applied for bail on behalf of the accused persons, stating that it was their constitutional right to be released on bail, citing Section 79(6) of the Criminal Procedural Act (CPA) of 1965.

He said the accused have sureties to stand on their behalf and that they have no intension of jumping bail or to interfere with prosecution witnesses if granted bail.

However, police prosecutor Inspector S. Conteh said the prosecution relied on their previous objection and that the defence counsel had misled the court by citing the wrong section for bail.

He opined that when a matter has been committed to the High Court, counsel should rather cite Section 120 of the CPA for bail.

Magistrate Kamanda overruled the defence counsel, stating that since the preliminary investigation had been concluded in the Magistrate Court, counsel should not have cited Section 79 of the CPA authority in terms of bail.

He therefore refused the accused bail.

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