Following the attack on the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) head quarters on Monday 16th March, 2009, 22 people were arrested by the police in a move to calm the political upheaval. 22 supporters of the SLPP were charged to court by the Sierra Leone police on which the court has been making series of adjournments without the witnesses testifying. Three count charges were proffered against them at court No. 1 under presiding magistrate Steven Conteh. The charges include: riotous conduct, throwing missiles at the Freetown City Council office and unlawful possession of offensive weapons like sticks, stones and harmful substances. On the court proceeding yesterday, the 18th accused (Christopher Heart) was absent and the prosecution was unable to prosecute the 21 accused due to the absence of the DPP Robin Mason.
Representative of the DPP and senior State Counsel Gerald Soyei applied for an adjournment since the DPP is sick and he could not continue with the matter. He further applied for bench warrant for the 18th accused due to his absence. Defense counsels pleaded against the bench warrant and they promised that they will give credible reasons on the next adjourned date as to why he was absent. The plea was upheld and the matter adjourned to the 7th April.
By Emmanuella Kallon