Salone News

LAB lawyers upcountry for High Court criminal sessions

10 June 2019 at 21:34 | 775 views

Contributed

Legal Aid Board lawyers are heading to Port Loko, Moyamba and Sefadu for the Special Criminal Sessions of the High Court started Monday, 10 June 2019. Three hundred and thirty-three (333) accused persons will be appearing before the sessions.

159 accused persons, 15 of who are charged with capital offences, will be brought before the court in Port Loko. 155 accused persons, 10 of who are charged with capital offences will appear before the court in Moyamba and 79 will appear before the court in Sefadu. The Registrars of the various courts said that all the accused persons have been served indictments and depositions of the lower court.

This information was provided in response to a question on this subject matter at a meeting with the Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, the Legal Aid Board and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution on Thursday, 6 June 2019 to discuss the upcoming Criminal Sessions with a view to ensuring that the Judiciary, Legal Aid Board and Office of the Director of Public Prosecution are all on the same page. The meeting was held in the Chamber of the Chief Justice (see photos).

The Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles informed the Chief Justice and other stakeholders that the Board has assigned six lawyers to the sessions. Counsel Ibrahim Thorlie from Waterloo in the Western Area Rural District and Kabba Sei Coomber from Bo will be going to Moyamba while Counsel Ibrahim Samba of Makeni will be going to Koidu to join his colleague Ibrahim Mansaray. Counsel Randy Bangura from Waterloo in the Western Area Rural District will be going to Port Loko to join Counsel Mohamed Korie.

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said judging from experience, it is highly likely that all the accused persons will be represented by the Board. She seized the opportunity to talk about the burning issue of adjournments for backlog cases and appealed to the Office of Public Prosecution not to delay matters – through repeated adjournments - for which they do not have the evidence.

She also drew attention to the plight of accused persons whose cases may not be heard in the sessions through no fault of theirs. She noted that there had been instances in the past in which inmates transferred from Correctional Centers upcountry to the Pademba Road Correctional Center have not had their matters heard in the Criminal Sessions. This is due to the fact that they had not been brought to the location where the sessions are held or had been brought at the end of the Session. Another reason could be, they had not been served indictments.

According the Chief Justice, Justice Ivan Sesay of the Appeal Court will be supervising Justice Ganda who will be presiding over the session in Moyamba, Justice Alusine Sesay of the Supreme Court will be supervising Justice S.O. Taylor who will be presiding over the session in Port Loko and Justice Alan Hallowell of the Supreme Court will be supervising Justice A.K. Musa who will be presiding over the session in the Sefadu.

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