Treason Trial: Public, journalists, jurors excluded from courtroom

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By Yusufu S. Bangura

In a recent development during the treason trial of Amadu Koita Makalo and 11 co-accused individuals, Justice Komba Kamanda, presiding over the case, ordered the general public, including jurors and journalists, to leave the courtroom.

This directive came after the defense counsel representing the 1st accused, Sigismond A Conteh, objected to the tendering of his client’s statement made to the police during investigations.

The objection was based on the desire to have the jurors outside the courtroom during the discussion of this particular matter.

Responding to the objection, Justice Komba Kamanda instructed everyone, including the other accused persons, members of the public, and journalists, to exit the court. The exclusion was limited to lawyers, the 1st accused, and security forces.

Earlier in the proceedings, state prosecutor A.J.M Bockarie presented the Seventh prosecution witness, Detective Inspector Tamba Kasi Brima from the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters.

The witness recalled an incident on December 4, 2023, when the 1st accused, Amadu Koita Makalo, was brought to the station by the operation team.

The witness noted that the 1st accused had a slight head injury, received first aid, and was required to provide a statement on alleged offenses of treason, murder, and related offenses.

The detective narrated that during the interview, Detective Superintendent of police, Gbonda, informed the accused of his right to legal representation, leading to the suspension of the interview. Subsequent sessions of the interview took place on December 8, 10, and 26, 2023, respectively.

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