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Seaman narrates ordeal with pirates

OCTOBER 8, 2014 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

In the ongoing pirate matter presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda of the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.2, seaman Osman Kamara yesterday testified how their vessel was attacked by pirates who catered away 100 cartons of fish and a camera valued Le800,000, and other relevant materials, plus cash of Le36,875,000 (thirty-six million, eight hundred and seventy-five thousand Leones) from a fishing vessel marked LIAN RUN 23.

The accused persons – Mohamed Tarawallie, Alhaji Kargbo, Alusine Mohamed Kamara, Mohamed Conteh, Mohamed Dumbuya and Musa Kabia – were arraigned before Magistrate Komba Kamanda on nine counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, and robbery with aggravation contrary to Section 32(1) of the Larceny Act of 1916 as repealed and replaced by Act No.46 of 1971, and wounding and assault contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

The prosecution alleged that the accused persons on 21st and 22nd July boarded the LIAN RUN 23 at sea, within the territorial waters of Freetown, and conspired with some unknown individuals to commit a felony.

The prosecution also alleged that the accused persons on the same date, while onboard the said fishing vessel and being armed with guns and knives, robbed Mohamed Kamara, Osman Kamara, Alhaji Jadika and Mohamed Dura the aforementioned amount, as well as wounded and assaulted their victims.

The witness said he could still recognize the accused persons and the witnesses who testified in the same matter in court as workmates.

He also recalled that on 21st and 22nd July he was in the cabin sleeping when at around 12 midnight to 1:00am he heard a gunshot outside the fishing vessel, adding that he became terrified, before he later saw first accused Mohamed Tarawallie who threatened the crew to come out or he would kill all of them in the boat.

“I had to come out and the first accused put me in the manhole on the boat. In the manhole, I met the captain and the other workers in the boat and after some time, one of the accused persons went to the door of the manhole and instructed us to come out after 20 minutes,” he said, adding that when they came out of the manhole they noticed that their properties were missing and the communication set on the boat was completely destroyed by the accused.

The matter is prosecuted by Inspector S. Conteh.

The mater continues.

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