Landmark again for Pilot National Legal Aid!
Pilot National Legal Aid (PNLA) was established by the Government of Sierra Leone and the Justice Sector Development Programme on January 6th 2010 to provide sustainable, affordable, credible and accessible legal aid scheme for those living in Sierra Leone who cannot afford to pay for the services of a lawyer.
PNLA’s main focus is to provide advice, assistance and representation, in the criminal justice system at the entry points of prisons, police stations and courts. One of the strengths of the scheme is its ability to follow-through on matters from inception at the police station, to court and right the way up to appeals.
PNLA provides a voice and an avenue for equality of justice for the poor and most vulnerable in our society.
PNLA has done it again. MK (real name withheld) is a juvenile who had appeared before Court No. 8 for an offence of Larceny from person. He was sentenced to eighteen (18) months imprisonment.
PNLA first came into contact with this 16 year old juvenile during a routine visit at the Remand Home, at Kingtom on 7th April 2011. He was granted bail but because he was unable to meet the terms, he was sent to the Remand Home for Juveniles at Kingtom. Our lawyer/counsel began representing him on 14th April 2011. The matter was adjourned several times but due to vehicle problems at the Remand Home to bring him to court, he jumped bail and was on bench warrant. During court proceedings, the prosecution failed to prove their case as they failed to prove the element of larceny from person.
An appeal was filed to the High Court by PNLA who were of the opinion that the said juvenile was wrongfully convicted and that the judgement delivered on the 29th July 2011 be set aside and conviction quashed. The appeal was heard on 19th January 2012 and ruling pronounced in favour of PNLA and conviction was quashed.
Poor juvenile wasted no time in thanking PNLA, our Government and the British government through DAI for providing free legal representation for him both in the Magistrate Court and the High Court.
PNLA is indeed “Opening the Doors to Justice” and helping to provide a level playing field for all Sierra Leonean citizens particularly women, children, disabled and our youths, the indigent and vulnerable in our society.
For FREE advice and assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.Pilot National Legal Aid 4th Floor Ministerial Building (078-200204, 078- 200205)
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