• January 15, 2024

“The Collective Destiny & Future of Sierra Leone Was Threatened”- Defence Counsel

“The Collective Destiny & Future of Sierra Leone Was Threatened”- Defence Counsel
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By FORUM Staff Writer

One of the defence counsels in the ongoing treason trial for the 27 military serving personnel, Julian Cole said the collective destiny and future of Sierra Leone was threatened by November 26, 2023 incident. Lawyer Cole said collectively, the nation was resolved to search for arms and should find through legal means capable of the Act.

 

Mr. Cole made this statement on January 12, 2024 while addressing the court in the ongoing or pending treason trial before an advocate judge, Mark Neggba at the High Court of Sierra Leone.

 

Lawyer Cole in his submission on behalf of the seventeen (17th) accused, said he was concerned about the wellbeing and welfare of the citizens and the state. He said the process, is an act of protecting the existence of the state, adding that the seventeen (17the) whom he is representing put his life at risk in defence of the state and the citizenry of Sierra Leone.

 

Counsel told the bench that his client, the 17th accused, had served the military force since 1999 to present and he has good records in the force arguing that there is no share of evidence that his client was part of the planning process.

 

The panel, he said will see as the trial unfolded that the 17th accused, did not in any way be part of mutiny, assuring that he did everything he could that was legal within the mandate of instructions to keep the wellbeing of the state.

 

Having concluded his submission, the first prosecution’s witness (PW) 1, lieutenant Colonel Bockarie Marah, was led by State Counsel, J.A.K Sesay.

Lieutenant Colonel Marah is a Commanding Officer in the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Force (RSLAF), attached to the Armed Force Personnel Centre Cockery on Wilkinson Road in Freetown.

Colonel Marah said he is in charge of keeping of records members and re-keep of records. He said he recognised the accused as military personnel who were working for RSLAF. Printed documents were furnished to him by the court , which he identified details he has in records of the accused. Lieutenant Colonel Marah said the aforesaid documents were in his custody, which was produced and tendered marked exhibits “A1-31”

 

Page of one of the documents being tendered, he said it has two pages of data captured of 27 accused to mutiny, emphasising that it also has records of the accused when they were enlisted in RSLAF contained their names, units and force numbers.

 

He identified all the accused in the said document. Colonel Marah round up his evidence in chief saying that he made a statement of what he narrated to court. Defence Counsels did not cross examined the witness though the opportunity was accorded to them for them to do so. No question from the panel as well. The matter has been adjourned to Wednesday, 17th January, 2024.

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