5 In Court…Witnesses Unavailable
Five prison officers made their second appearance at Magistrate court No. 2 yesterday to answer to counts of charges.
Witnesses expected to begin to give evidences in favour of the prosecution never turned up in court at all.
Momodu Sesay, Abass Mackie, Ray, Sallieu Jalloh and Theophilus Bangura faced charges ranging from permitting the escape of prisoners to conspiracy to defeat the course of justice.
Witnesses for the prosecution are yet to begin tender evidence in court
Lawyer for the prosecution, Y.S Koroma, in his submission, told the court he will produce his witnesses on the next court hearing.
He further asked that the accused are refused bail.
Lawyer Koroma however called on Magistrate Johannes Wellington of Court No 2 not to grant bail to all five accused persons.
Stating that Count II in the indictment chart speaks of defeating the course of justice.
He quoted Count II as saying: “conspiracy to defeat the course of justice,” and therefore called on the Magistrate to consider public’s view before taking a decision on account of bail for the accused.
Since the witnesses are yet to testify in the matter, it is, but befitting that all five accused are kept behind bars.
Lawyer Koroma told the court that it was his intention to have all prosecution witnesses start their testimonies, but circumstances beyond his control debarred the Director of Prison releasing any of them.
Although such was taken to mean feeble, it was resolved that on the next adjournment, the prosecution should start it case.
Lawyers representing all five accused pleaded for bail and asked that the prosecution brings it witnesses to court soonest.
It must be noted however that offences for which all accused were charged are bailable according to law.
Magistrate Wellington dismissed applications to have all accused bailed.
“This court caters for ‘facts’ and what is defined by ‘law.’ The public has no influence to legal decisions of this court,” Magistrate Wellington told the prosecution.
He refused bail for all five accused.
Magistrate Wellington also cautioned the prosecution, Y.S Koroma, to be certain that his witnesses are in court on the next adjournment or it will leave the court without no option, but grant bail to the accused.
Sources say the prosecution virtually doesn’t have direct evidence against persons permitting and conspiring to defeat the course of justice.
Findings by this press say that the escape of all 19 prisoners sometime in December of 2010, was due to insecurity and the making of innocent prison guards.
The matter was adjourned to 12th January.
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