Magistrate Manuella Harding yesterday slammed a Le10m bail on sixteen accused persons who were alleged to have forcefully grabbed a large chunk of rice mistakenly taken as that donated by the Libyan President.
The 12 youths and 4 women were charged with 5 counts of conspiracy to create felony, robbery with aggravation and receiving stolen goods.
They were arrested on Friday 29 June and made an appearance at the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 4 yesterday.
According to the Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Kanu, the accused persons on Friday June 29 robbed Amadu Wurie Sei of one tonne of Pakistani rice valued at eight million seven hundred and fifty four thousand leones being property of Tajco enterprise, kept by Amadu Wurie Sei.
The three elderly women, Fatmata Bangura, Ramatu Tarawally and Salamatu Thullah were separately charged for receiving stolen goods of one bag rice worth Le70,000 and a bag of flour worth Le35,000.
They were not allowed to enter in a plea.
Applying for bail for the accused persons Lawyer S. M. Sesay told the court that the accused people’s right had been violated since they have spent six days behind bars, more than what the constitution required for holding a suspect
The Defence Counsel further informed the court about the absence of the complainant from court adding that the accused have reliable sureties to bail them.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Kanu said he feared that if bail was granted especially to the male suspects, it would be difficult for them to appear in court again.
The complainant, Amadu Wurie Sei was absent in court but a subpoena was issued by the Magistrate for his appearance in court on the next adjourned date on July 11.