Sierra Leone: As State Prosecutor Declares Him Hostile Thomas Dickson Insists Herbert, Daramy Never Partake in Beating Samura

30 September 2020

Journalist Thomas Dickson, a 'very' good friend and a colleague of the late journalist, Ibrahim Samura of the New Age Newspaper, who was allegedly beaten and murdered by former Mayor of Freetown, Herbert George Williams and former Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Abu Bakarr Darammy, has testified in the trial and admitted that his statement to the police did not match his testimony in court.

Noticing that the witness's testimony was contrary to what he told the police in his statement on the 6th of April, 2018, the State Prosecutor, Uma Sumaray, applied for her own witness to be treated as being hostile.

Though lawyers representing both accused persons objected to the application, justice Musa granted the application the interest of justice.

As a hostile witness, prosecutor Sumaray challenged Thomas Dickson that he was not truthful to the court in his testimony when he said that it were some boys who hit the deceased with a baseball bat, a testimony contrary to the statement he made to the police on the 6th of April 2018.

After the alleged beating of the Managing Editor of New Age Newspaper, Ibrahim Samura, who was performing his journalistic duty during the presidential runoff on Saturday, 31 of March 2018, Thomas Dickson being one of the eyewitnesses on the 6th of April 2018, made statement at the Lumley Police Station where he told the police that the accused persons were among those that beat journalist Ibrahim Samura.

In his testimony as the 3rd prosecution witness, Thomas Dickson told Justice Augustine Musa that he works as a journalist at Salone Times and the New Age Newspapers, noting that he knew the deceased as his colleague and a partner in the New Age Newspaper.

He identified the first accused, Abu Bakarr Daramy as the Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Herbert George Williams as former Mayor of the Freetown Municipality.

He recalled on 31st March 2018, when himself, the deceased and one Mamud Tim Kargbo were on duty monitoring the runoff presidential election.

He said the deceased later received a phone call that there was some form of commotion at the Lumley roundabout where they proceeded and that on their arrival they met lot of people fighting.

He told the court that he also saw both accused persons among the crowd including the daughter of former President Ernest Bai Koroma, Dankay Koroma.

He said both accused were around the scene while the deceased later took out his phone to take a snapshot of the State House vehicles and police officers that were within the scene.

He added that during that process, some boys within and some police officers rushed and started beating the deceased.

He further stated that he later intervened to save the deceased from the boys and that he succeeded and moved him to the other side of the road while they were still chasing them.

He said one of the State House security guards chased and hit the deceased with baseball bat twice on his head.

He said a certain police officer was trying to arrest them but they went into the Lumley Police Station and reported the matter.

While being Cross-examined by Lawyer Melron Nicol-Wilson, Thomas Dickson told the court that, in his statement to the police on the 6th April, he never mentioned the 1st accused, Abu Bakarr Daramy as one of the people who assaulted the deceased.

He noted that he had made a second statement to the police on the 5th of November, 2019.

He insisted that the 1st accused did not participate in the assault of the deceased, emphasizing that it was a police officer who assaulted the deceased by hitting him on his head twice with a baseball bat.

He also told the court he never mentioned that the second accused was involved in the beating of the deceased, adding that the second accused never instructed the gangs to assault the deceased.

Matter adjourned to Wednesday, 7th of October, 2020.

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