Trial Opens for Victims Arrested on Last Election Day with Suspected Jeep and Weapons
The two accused persons Reuben Tekuyama and George Pratt are currently before Justice A.H Charm for a six count indictment. The first count is conspiracy to prevent an election contrary to law, the second, disturbing an election by threats contrary to Section 117 of the public election Act 2012, the third is conspiracy to unduly influence an election contrary to law, the fourth is unduly influencing an election contrary to section 118(a) of the same Act, the fifth is unduly influencing an election by threatening to use force contrary to section 118(1)(b) of the same Act, and the sixth count is carrying offensive weapons without lawful authority contrary to section 16(1) of the same Act.
The trial opened proper yesterday as the prosecution called in two witnesses. The first witness A.S.P Prince Shilon Assistant Superintendent of Police attached to the Lumley Police station told the court that, on November 17 2012 which was the election day, P.C 12548 Bangura IK arrested and brought the accused persons at the office for driving a vehicle which had the number AHM 617 written on a card and affixed to the vehicle. He then took them to the Chief Superintendent where they were questioned and a search of the vehicle ordered. Upon the search he discovered that the vehicle had a NEC accreditation affixed to it. He said the search conducted by Sgt Fatmata koroma and Detective Police Officer Fulah revealed; four cutlasses underneath the carpet in the boot, a security belt with accessories (an empty pepper spray can, a torch light, a hand cuff, and a hand radio set), a telescope and a jack knife. He then took the accused persons with the items to the Inspector General and the case was later handed over to the Head of the CID where a statement was taken from him.
The second Prosecuting Witnesses Fatmata Koroma, an Investigator and Supervisor attached to the Lumley Police Station said she was on duty that same November 17 2012 when she was called upon to search the said vehicle during which the said items were discovered. She added that when the accused persons were taken to the chief Superintendent, they were asked who owned the vehicle which the first accused said the vehicle belong to the flag bearer of the flag bearer of SLPP Julius Madaa Bio. She then later made a statement at the CID Headquarters. During cross examination, defence counsel made an application pursuant to section 190(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1965 for the prosecution to furnish them with a copy of her statement. It was tendered and given to the witnesses and she read the portion which the defence counsel was interested in to the court. It was to the effect that the chief superintendent did question them why they had the cutlasses, security belt and the accreditation of NEC on their vehicle to which the 1st accused said the cutlasses were use to chop up branches that obscure their path whenever they are travelling to the provinces(up line). They also said the belts belong to a security officer formally working at their residence and that the NEC accreditation was obtain from the SLPP Head Quarters. The matter was adjourned to the 26 of March for the prosecution to continue their case.
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