Sierra Leone: Palo's Appeals Hearing Defense Team Buys More Time to File in Argument

The defense team representing former Defense Minister, Retired Major Alfred Palo Conteh at the Appeals Court on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, filed in synopsis for the court to grant them more time to file in their appeals argument.

Addressing the Appellate Court presided over by Justice Ivan Sesay, Justice Tonia Banette and Justice Bintu Alhadi, one of the defense lawyers, Wara Serry-Kamal said the synopsis was to seek for more time to enable them file in their appeal argument.

According to Serry-Karmal, the defense team has put together their argument, but that the lead Attorney on the trial, Dr. Abdulai Conteh, is currently out of the country on medical and insisted that he be given the opportunity to go through the file before they present it to the court.

Representing the state, Director of Public Prosecutions, Easmon Ngakui Ngakui, could not object to the application.

Justice Ivan granted the application and gave the defense a fourth-week to file in their argument.

Justice Ivan stated that on the previous adjourned date, the defense made mention of the issue of delay while making bail application on behalf of their client pending the appeals hearing.

"I am saying this because, I want people to know that it is not only the court that is causing delay in trials, sometimes the delay comes from the lawyers also," he said.

Sierra Leone Former Defense Minister, Retired Alfred Paolo Conteh was in late Mach charged to court on 16 count charges ranging from treason, possession of unlicensed arms, perjury, and importation of small arms without valid license, to other related offences.

The opposition key figure, who served in the All People's Congress government as Defense Minister, Internal Affairs Minister and also National Ebola Response Coordinator, was charged together with two others

The State had alleged that, Alfred Palo Conteh, on 19th March, 2020, was caught with an unlicensed small arm at State House.

Alfred Palo Conteh was on the 1st July 2020 was acquitted and discharged on all counts of treason charges by Justice Momoh Jah Stavens when the Jury returned a not guilty verdict.

He was however, found guilty on two lesser counts of unlawful Gun Possession with the penalty of two years imprisonment and was sentenced to twenty four months imprisonment a conviction is now appealing.

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