Sierra Leone: APC MP,3 Others to Spend Another Week Behind Bars

Hon Emmanuel Saidu Conteh and Co were arrested for alleged illegal importation of arms and ammunition

After the State ProsecutoBy Jeneba A Contehr, lawyer Y. I. Sesay, informed the Court that the prosecution was on the verge of taking another line of action and requested for an adjournment, Magistrate Sahr Kekura sent into remand Honourable Emmanuel Saidu Conteh, and three others who were charged in connection with illegal importation of arms and ammunition.

State Counsel, Y. I. Sesay brought two witnesses to court, but told Magistrate Sahr Kekura that he cannot proceed with the matter because the prosecution was about to take another line of action.

He added that the line of action which the prosecution was about to take was in the interest of justice, thus requesting for one week adjournment.

Lead prosecutor,Lawyer J. A. K. Sesay, said he had earlier intimated the court that the prosecution was working on a post-charge investigation.

Defense counsel for the 1st accused, lawyer J. M. Jengo noted that he hadn't issues with the adjournment, but the timeframe (one week).

He noted that his client had been in custody for too long and urged the magistrate to grant him bail so that he could access proper medical attention.

Counsel for the second accused, lawyer Lansana Dumbuya expressed disappointment that the prosecution was derailing the progress of the matter, inspite of the fact that they have all the resources needed to prosecute.

He disclosed that he had made effort to get the medical history of his client whose health condition was deteriorating at the Pademba Road Prison.

He noted that it was not the fault of the second accused that the prosecution cannot make progress, adding that the manner in which the prosecution was conducting their case should not affect his client.

He added that his client is a Member of Parliament who represents thousands of people and that he is not a flight risk.By Jeneba A Conteh

He concluded that the magistrate had listened to the first witness, and had seen key documents which should inform the decision of the Magistrate.

He urged the Magistrate to exercise his discretion judiciously.

He applied that the magistrate issues orders for the medical report of the second accused to be made available.

Lawyer Dumbuya said he had contacted the doctor at the Male Correctional Facility for the said medical report, but to no avail.

He said the doctor referred him to make an application to the Magistrate for that to happen.

Counsel for the 3rd and 4th accused person, lawyer M.N. Bittar, noted that his clients are mere employees who know nothing about the shipment and that it will be unfair for them to be kept in prison.

State Counsel on the other hand upheld and adopted the position of the lead state counsel in the matter.

He assured that if the matter was adjourned for one week, the prosecution will make progress on the matter.

Magistrate Sahr Kekura noted that the prosecution should have all the necessary documents to prosecute, while he called on them to make progress on the next adjourned date.

He added that he will look into the application made by the counsel for the second accused on the next adjourned date.

He remanded all accused persons and adjourned the matter to the 2nd July, 2021.

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