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Sierra Leone U-23 coach convicted

The convicted John Keister

February 5, 2015 By Sahr Morris Jr

Sierra Leone U-23 national coach, John Keister and FC Johansen assistant coach, Daniel Conteh have both been convicted of trespass by Magistrate Santigie Bangura of the Pademba Road Magistrates’ Court No. 5.

Keister, who also doubles as head coach of FC Johansen, was on Wednesday 4th February convicted in the matter between the Inspector General of Police vs. John Keister and Daniel Abdel Conteh.

Both football officials were charged with three counts of assault, trespass and public insult against journalist and editor of Salone Times newspaper, Thomas Dixon on 18th October 2014.

Delivering his judgment, Magistrate Bangura acquitted and discharged the two accused persons on count one – assault, and count three – public insult and provocation. This was due to inconsistencies on the part of the prosecution, according to the magistrate.

But both men were however convicted on count two, which is trespass.

“After listening to the plea of motion from the defence, I have decided to fine the two accused persons Le250,000 each or six months imprisonment. The complainant should be compensated with the sum of Le1,500,000 each,” the magistrate ruled.

Speaking to this medium, complainant Thomas Dixon thanked his journalist colleagues Alhaji Komba and Pa Alie Sesay for standing by him. He also thanked Umaru Fofana and Salone Times managing editor, Donald Theo Harding for their concern shown when the incident occurred.

“This decision is not only for me but it is a landmark decision for journalists and journalism in Sierra Leone,” he said.

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