Treason trial: Former President Koroma granted extension on medical grounds

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Former president Ernest Bai Koroma

By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

On the Wednesday court proceedings, the lead defense counsel for former President Ernest Bai Koroma, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, filed an affidavit requesting an extension of the trial of his client on medical grounds.

This application was presented before Magistrate Santigie Bangura of the Pademba Road Court No. 2.

The state representation included Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohamed Lamin Tarawally, Solicitor General R. V. Kowa, Director of Public Prosecution, O. I. Kanu, A. G. M. Bockarie and A. Jalloh.

The defense team for former President Ernest Bai Koroma comprises Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, Lansana Dumbuya, Saidu Bangura, and Chernor Kamara.

While the state prosecutor noted that the accused was not present in court after being granted bail by the High Court on medical grounds, the defense Counsel, Fitzgerald Kamara informed the court that they had filed an affidavit for an extension of medical leave on behalf of the accused, referencing Paragraphs 4 to 6 of the affidavit sworned to by the sureties, Hon. Minkailu Mansaray and Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh.

In response, Prosecutor Ahmed G. M. Bockarie mentioned that the references made by the defense were not before the court and requested the sureties to explain the whereabouts of the accused.

Surety Minkailu Mansaray explained that the accused was still in Nigeria where he is seeking medical attention and apologised for not yet obtaining the medical report due to the process there.

The prosecutor expressed concern about the lack of a commitment from the surety regarding the accused’s return.

Magistrate Santigie Bangura, in his ruling, ordered the defense team to present the medical report of the accused within three weeks. The matter was adjourned to March 27, 2024.

Former President Ernest Bai Koroma is facing charges of treason, misprision of treason, harboring, and other related offenses, accused of conspiring with unknown persons to overthrow President Bio.

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