The Director of Public Prosecution Oladipo Robin Mason who is also the lead prosecutor in the ongoing cocaine trial has on Monday 23rd March given his address to reaffirm the position of the prosecution on the charges against the fifteen accused persons.
In his address he made mention of the exhibits, statements of the accused persons and testimony of the various witnesses that have so far been led in evidence by the prosecution.
He stated that three prosecution witnesses testified in court that they saw the 12th accused, Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Manley enter the control tower with two white men on the night the cocaine plane landed at Lungi Air Port. He said in this regard Mr. Manley therefore, has a case to answer in relation to count five which is Conspiracy to Commit a Felony.
The 1st accused, George Aristizabel Archila, 2nd accused, Victor Manuel Araujo Lastreto and 3rd Accused Julio Cesar Morales-Cruz are all charged with Count one, Importation of drug without lawful authority, count five Unlawful Possession of prohibited drugs and Importation of unlawful drugs contrary to law.
With regards unlawful possession the DPP said that from the time the plane took off from Venezuela on to the time it landed at the Lungi Air Port before the crew ran away they were all in possession of the drug.
Whether they were found with the drug at the time they were arrested is not an issue but the fact that these white guys came with the aircraft in which the cocaine was found means they were in constructive possession of the said drug.
The 8th accused, Harvey Steven Perez, 9th accused Yeimy Fernandez Leandro and 10th accused Geraldo Quistana Perez were all found in the house in Port Loko to which the pilot and crew members of the plane were taken.
In response to the address made by the prosecution defence lawyer for the 1st accused Crispin Fio Edwards argued that his client who was pilot of the plane did a forceful landing because they were running out of fuel.
It was an emergency situation which even the prosecution did not question. Mr. Edwards further argued that the burden of proof solely lies in the prosecution to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the 1st accused is guilty of the charges against him
“In this case there is so many doubt” he added. He told the court that with the prosecution relying only on the statement of the 1st accused is not enough reason to raise a case against his client.
He pleaded for the judge to acquit and discharge the 1st accused because the evidence brought by the accused is not sufficient to prosecute his client.