Police Detective, Collins, on Wednesday 8th January 2020, testified against Herbert George Williams, former Mayor of Freetown City Council (FCC), and Abu Bakarr Daramy, in connection with the alleged murder of local journalist, Ibrahim Samura. According to Detective Collins, in October 2019, an alleged murder case was assigned to him by his supervisor, Inspector M.K. Allieu. The file contains documents such as: medical cause of death, statement of the deceased, and an apology letter from the Acting Secretary General, All People’s Congress (APC), Western Region, Wotey Dura, in respect of Samura’s death. Collins revealed that he obtained statement from the first accused, Abu Bakarr Daramy, and later charged both persons with conspiracy to attempt murder contrary to law. However, Collins said, both accused persons refused to sign the charge statement, for they said, they will not sign until their lawyer is present. Collins furthered that he therefore prepared a certificate to justify their reason to the Court for not signing the charge statement. The prosecuting counsel was A. Fisher, and the defense lawyers were Lansana Dumbuya and Ady Macauley, among others.
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In their cross-examination, lead defense counsel, Dumbuya, argued the police did not clarify whether the apology letter was written by the APC Acting Secretary General, Western Region, and even if it was so, the apology letter was not written on the instruction of his client. He said the Acting Secretary General may have responded to a press release from the Sierra Leone Association of Journalist (SLAJ) for the death of their colleague. Prosecuting counsel requested for an adjournment, but lead defense Counsels objected to his request, for, according to them, the prosecuting counsel had earlier told the Court that they will close their case on the said adjourned date, but later told the Court that they have more witnesses to testify. Lawyer Dumbuya stressed the need for a speedy trial. He said according to law, the Magistrate does not have the power to grant bail on murder trials and his client had spent a very long time in prison. He therefore said a delay in the trial will be a disadvantage to his clients. Lawyer Fisher responded that he did not give any indication to the Court that he will close his case yesterday. He disclosed that he works strictly under the instruction of the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecution. Magistrate Mark Negba overruled their objections. He said he is not in conduct of their cases and will not determine the number of witnesses both counsels should bring to Court. He adjourned the matter to 15th January 2020, while both accused persons were sent to the Male Correctional Centre on Pademba Road in Freetown.
By Sulaiman Karim Sesay
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