9 October 2018

Sierra Leone: Hanna Bockarie's Murder Trial Resumes in the High Court

Hundreds of protesters marched to condemn Hanna Bockarie's alleged murder, demanding justice

The High Court of Sierra Leone, presided over by Justice John Bosco Alliue, yesterday, for the third time, empaneled jurors in the murder trial involving one Mohamed Lamin Kamara and Paul Corn, who allegedly murdered Hanna Bockarie.

On 14th August 2015, a half-naked corpse of a young lady aged between 17 and 18, identified as Hanna Bockarie, was discovered at the Aberdeen-Lumley beach.

The death of Hanna Bockrie sparked a big protest by women's groups in the country, including the United Methodists women's groups, United Nations Women in Sierra Leone and many others.

The protesters had called on the government and the police to conduct speedy investigation and bring to book perpetrator(s) and ensure justice was done to the deceased and her relatives.

After almost a month of investigation, the Police arrested and charged to court two accused persons with the offences of conspiracy and murder contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

They alleged that the accused persons on 14th August 2015, at Aberdeen-Lumley Beach, conspired together with unknown individuals to murder, and murdered one Hanna Bockarie.

Upon conclusion of the Preliminary Investigation, Magistrate Komba Kamanda, who is now a High Court Judge, committed the matter for trial at the High Court.

Addressing the Court and newly empaneled jurors after the charges were read to the accused persons, State Counsel Kabba Conteh told the court that both accused were charged to court on two count charges of conspiracy and murder.

He said it was the duty of the prosecution to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt and that he would present witnesses, including the government consultant pathologist Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma, to testify in the matter.

He addressed the court that at the time the accused persons allegedly committed the crime, they were of sound mind, thus urging the jurors to listen with care during the trial and come out with their verdict at the end of the trial.

Justice Alliue called on the prosecutor to present his witnesses on the next adjournment date, adding that he was ready to finish the matter this time around.

The matter was adjourned to Monday, October 15th.

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