They breathe a sigh of relief and joyfully hugged loved ones as they walked from the dock after two years of intense murder trial at the High Court in Freetown.
Six Klymax Klub members including Francis Mafinda, Dennis Holland, Lawrence Lahai Amara, Mukeh Foh, Abassie Sesay, and David Ricott Olatunde Williams, were yesterday cleared of conspiracy to murder and murder.
The prosecution had alleged that the accused persons on diverse dates between Friday, 6th and Saturday, 14th July, 2018, in Freetown, conspired with other persons unknown to commit a felony to wit murder.
It was also alleged that the accused persons with other unknown persons on Saturday, 14th July, 2018, at No. 20 Sorie Town, Gloucester Village, Western Mountain Rural, murdered Albert Maddison Bio.
The matter was presided over by Justice Ivan Sesay and eleven jurors.
While addressing the jury, Justice Ivan Sesay said the men were committed to the High Court on two count charges of conspiracy and murder contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
He said it was the duty of the prosecution to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt, and to do that it summoned nine witnesses including the Government Consultant Pathologist, Dr. Semion Owizz Koroma.
The judge said he had gone through the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and the statements of all convicts.
He reminded the jury that they were judges of fact and that they should be well informed about the case before handing down judgment.
He said it was the burden of the prosecution to prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt and prove the guilt of the accused persons, adding that any doubt should go in favour of the accused persons.
He told the jurors that none of the witness had told the court that he saw any of the accused persons at the initiation ground on the 14th July 2018, thus noting that the prosecution relied on the statement of the second accused who said he was at the initiation at around 11 am, and later left for his resident.
He said they also relied on the report of the medical doctor in which it was stated that the accused died of strangulation.
Justice Ivan Sesay cautioned the jury to look into the said matter, think about it critically for minutes and bring out their verdict.
He added that they should also look at certain elements of the word "murder".
He informed the jury that if they were not satisfied with the evidence, they may choose to change the charges against the accused to "Manslaughter."
The jury retired and returned to the courtroom after 10 minutes of deliberation with a verdict of not guilty on both charges.
Justice Ivan Sesay therefore acquitted and discharged them accordingly.