The Resident High Court Judge in Makeni, Hon. Justice Unisa Kamara (J) who's presiding over cases in the ongoing High Court Criminal Session in Magburuka Town, Northern Sierra Leone has today sentenced 24-year-old Musa Kargbo, popularly known as SOJA, to death by hanging for murder.
A twelve-member Jury unanimously returned a guilty verdict against the convict in respect of a one count indictment of murder Contrary to Law.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused Musa Kargbo on the 9th December 2019, at Rongola Village, Yoni Mamilla Chiefdom, Tonkolili District in the Northern Province of the Republic of Sierra Leone murdered Momoh Kamara.
In his address to the jurors shortly before they retired to consider their verdict, Hon. Justice Unisa Kamara noted that in all Criminal trials in Sierra Leone, the burden of proving the guilt of the accused person beyond reasonable doubt rests solely upon the prosecution.
He went on to note that the prosecution must prove among other things that the accused person was of a sound memory and of the age of discretion, that the killing was done with malice aforethought either expressed or implied, that the victim was a reasonable creature in being and under the protection of the State at the material time.
Referring to the jurors as judges of facts, Justice Kamara urged them to decide the case according to the evidence adduced before the court without sympathy for or against either the prosecution or the accused or the victim of the crime.
"If based upon your consideration of the evidence, you are firmly convinced that the accused person is guilty of the crime charged, you must find him guilty. If on the other hand you think there's a real possibility that he's not guilty, you must give him the benefit of the doubt and find him not guilty," Hon. Justice Kamara stated.
The 2nd prosecution witness Dr. John Fallah Yillia said he examined and performed post-mortem examination on the deceased at the Magburaka Government Hospital while the 3rd prosecution witness told the court that the accused and one Marios stabbed the deceased outside the dancehall.
Following the close of the Prosecution's case by State Counsel A.Y. Mansaray, the accused said he relied on his statement to the police.
In his plea in mitigation, Lawyer from Legal Aid Board-Ibrahim Samba, told the Court that the convict (Musa Kargbo) is a first time offender and that the Court should temper justice with mercy.
The convict in his allocutus also pleaded for mercy.
Delivering his sentence after the unanimous guilty verdict, Justice Unisa Kamara sentenced Musa Kargbo to death by hanging.
The cases, which range from murder, manslaughter, sexual penetration, larceny, wounding with intent among others are part of the June Criminal Sessions holding in Tonkolili District with a total of 22 cases.
The High Court Criminal sessions are being funded by the Judiciary with funds from the Government of Sierra Leone and aimed at taking justice closer to the people.