State Counsel Adrian Fisher has opposed bail for two men accused of human trafficking contrary to Section 2(2) of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act No. 7 of 2005. Fisher said the Chief Justice has instructed that human trafficking offences should be fast tracked and sent to the High Court within a month. Fisher said the charge that Yayah Kamara and Abdul Thaimu Kamara face is very serious. He cited instances for which bail could be withheld from the accused, such as flight risk, tampering with prosecution witness or witnesses and the serious nature of the offence. Defence counsel, I. Tholly, applied for bail for his clients before Principal Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of Court No. 1 on Pademba Road in Freetown on Wednesday 18th December 2019. Fisher opposed bail but Magistrate Bonnie, interjected and said the offence is bailable. Counsel Fisher concurred with the Magistrate on that position of the law.
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Sometime between 1st January 2018 and the end of February 2019, the accused allegedly conspired together to traffic Kadiatu Kallon from Sierra Leone to Kurdistan through Conakry, Guinea, to work as a housemaid. Detective Police Constable Amadu Kanu, of the Anti-Human Trafficking division at the Hastings Police Station said in his testimony on 4th December 2019, a team of police officers found nothing of interest during a search of the accused house. He said the first accused was arrested and brought to them by a military officer. The witness said the first accused was found with 35 passport photos inside his mobile phone, air tickets and medical certificates and a document showing the amounts he had received from different Sierra Leoneans. When prosecutor Fisher mentioned these facts in Court, the counsel for the accused objected saying that the passports and other travelling documents found with the accused were not that of the complainant and that the prosecutor should refrain from distorting the facts. Several cases of human trafficking and a stolen baby are currently being fast tracked at the magistrate level. A stolen baby case was also fast tracked to High Court only one month after an arrest and a Magistrate trial began. Meanwhile, Yayah Kamara and Abdul Thaimu Kamara were not granted bail and subsequently remanded at the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown. The case was adjourned to Monday 23rd December 2019.
By David Thoronka
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