After spending nine months in prison, the Deputy Director of Civil Aviation, Badara Allieu Tarawalie (13th accused) and Air Traffic control Officer at the control Tower, Ebenezer Adetunji Macauley (14th accused) have both been acquitted and discharged by Justice Nicholas Brown Mark on Monday 16th March.
This follows the submission made by the Director of Public Prosecution, Oladipo Robin Mason on Saturday that there was no evidence implicating the 13th and 14th accused persons in the offences charged – in count two (Accessory Before the Fact) and count five(Conspiracy to commit a Felony) of the six counts indictment.
The judge made it clear in court that the person who gave the ultimate permission (Kemoh Sesay) and who had insisted, according to the evidence of PW2 and according to Badara Allieu Tarawalie (13th accused) in exhibits 20,21,22,29 and 48 that no permission should be given without his imprimatur, was exonerated by the prosecution, – it makes no sense to continue to punish the 13th and 14th accused persons.
The two men left the dock in tears of joy and were joined in court by friends and family members in jubilation. Speaking to this press, Mr.Badara Allieu Tarawalie said that he is innocent of all the charges that were brought against him, “God has decided my case that I am innocent” he said in tears.
The presiding judge further stated that all other accused persons have a case to answer in respect of count 5 of the indictment which is “Conspiracy to Commit a Felony”. Among the fifteen accused currently left on trial the 1st accused George Arititizabel Archila, 2nd accused, Victor Manuel Araujo Lastreto and 3rd accused Julio Cesar Morales-Cruz all have a case to answer in counts 1,4 and 6.
The trial continues today with Defense Lawyers expected to lead witnesses to testify in court.
By William Freeman