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For contempt of Special Court …accused guilty

For contempt of Special Court …accused guilty

One of five accused persons brought before the Special Court for contempt pleaded guilty to charges against him.

Samuel Kargbo aka ‘Sammy Ragga’ a former Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) member Friday 15th pleaded guilty to two counts charges of knowingly and willfully interfering with the Special Court administration of justice by offering a bribe to a witness who has given testimony before a trail chamber in violation of rule 77(A) (iv).

It is stated in the particulars of offence that on or about 27th November and 16th December 2010 in Freetown, the accused Samuel Kargbo offered a bribe to a protected witness- TF1-334, who gave testimony before Trial Chamber 11 in the proceedings of Prosecutor Vs Brima, Kamara and Kanu, in return for a disavow his testimony in that trial.

In her the presiding Judge, Teresa Doherty said that evidences submitted against Samuel Kargbo are apparently convincing and challenging.

Accused Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara, Santigie Borbor Kanu aka Five-Five and Hassan Papa Bangura aka Bomblast pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them.

It could be recalled that Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara and Santigie Borbor Kanu are war criminals serving their sentences at the Mpanga prison in Rwanda.

In another engagement, the regional interim chairman of the Revolutionary United Front party, Eric Koi Senessie was made to appear before Justice Doherty to answer to nine count charges of attempting to induce prosecution witnesses who testified against Charles Taylor to withdraw their testimonies.

He pleaded not guilty to all the nine count charges.

All five accused persons were granted bail on the condition that they should not interfere with prosecution witnesses of the court and should surrender their passports to the court.

Accused Eric Koi Senessie who resides in Kailahun is to be unfailingly reporting himself to the police in Kailahun once every week.

Justice Teresa Doherty warned the accused to comply with the decision of the court, noting however that it is not usual for the court to grant bail to persons accused of an offence against the Special Court.

“I offered to give bail because the accused overwhelmingly complied with the proceedings,” she said.

Persons convicted under rule 77 could serve a maximum term of seven years or pay up to two million leones or both.

The matter was adjourned to a later date which will be communicated to all by the registrar of the court.

By Ibrahim Sahid Kamara

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