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Witness remanded for perjury

February 27, 2014 By Hassan Gbessay Koroma

Magistrate Albert J. Moody of the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No. 2 has remanded at the female correctional centre prosecution witness Mary Koroma for perjury.

While testifying in a domestic violence matter yesterday, the witness told the court she is a senior secondary school level one student at the Methodist Girls High School, and that she recognises the accused persons.

She recalled that in the morning hours of 18 October, 2014, the complainant – Lombeh Mansaray – had confessed being a witch and thereafter she was grabbed and beaten by the accused persons in the evening.

But when defence counsel Hon. Samuel Sengepor Thomas was cross-examining the witness, she confirmed taking the Basic Education Certificate Examination in 2014.

The defence then put it to her that there was no such examination in 2014 and applied for the witness to be remanded for perjury.

“My Lord, I am applying that this witness be remanded because she is not telling the court the truth, especially when she said that she took her Basic Education Certificate Examination in 2014. We all know the exam she is referring to did not hold in 2014,” the defence counsel submitted, citing the Perjury Act of 1911 which provides that, “If any person lawfully sworn as a witness or as an interpreter in a judicial proceeding willfully makes a statement material in that proceeding, which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be guilty of perjury, and shall, on conviction thereof on indictment, be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding seven years, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine or to both such penal servitude or imprisonment and fine.”

Accordingly, Magistrate Moody remanded the witness and adjourned the matter, although he did not indicate how long she would serve her term.

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