• January 8, 2024

THIS JUDGEMENT IS A POLITICAL VENDETTA – Lawyer JFK

THIS JUDGEMENT IS A POLITICAL VENDETTA – Lawyer JFK
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By Alusine Fullah

Sierra Leone’s ex-President Ernest Bai Koroma was charged with four offences including treason for his alleged role in a failed military attempt to topple the West African country’s government in November, a court in the capital Freetown has said.

The court’s decision on Wednesday could escalate tensions in the country coming after the attempted coup and a contentious election in which President Julius Maada Bio was re-elected for a second term in June 2023.

Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, lawyer for former Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, strongly refuted the charges against his client and questioned the legality of the investigation process.

Kamara revealed that despite 40 hours of interrogation, no concrete evidence was presented to Koroma linking him to the alleged offenses. He emphasized the lack of specific accusations beyond basic inquiries about individuals and objects, calling the entire process “ridiculous.”

“It is unfortunate for this nation to drag a Former President that was democratically elected for two terms; on charges of such nature…this judgement is a political vendetta…” Kamara stated, adding that this sets a dangerous precedent they will fiercely challenge to prove Koroma’s innocence.The lawyer’s comments raise concerns about the fairness and transparency of the legal proceedings against the former president. The lack of concrete evidence presented, as claimed by Kamara, has to some extent casts doubt on the validity of the charges and fuels speculation about potential political motives behind the investigation.

According to Sierra Leone’s penal code, a person found guilty of treason could face imprisonment for life. Earlier on Wednesday, the government said authorities have charged 12 other people, including a member of Koroma’s security detail, with treason in connection with the failed coup. The accused were arraigned before a magistrate in Freetown on Tuesday, the Ministry of Information and Communication said in a statement, adding that they included ex-police and correctional officers.

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