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Sierra Leone News: Former Deputy Health Minister, MP, appear in Court

The former Deputy Minister of Health, Zuliatu Cooper, former Member of Parliament, Dauda Kallon, and 12 other All People’s Congress (APC) party supporters have been accused of throwing stones towards Police and others on 31 December 2018. The group was arrested on the same day and charged with riotous conduct and throwing missiles around the APC headquarters in Brookfield. The accused were discharged and acquitted by the Court in February 2019, but fresh charges were levied against them on the same day. On Wednesday 15 May 2019, the accused appeared before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1 on Pademba Road but the State Counsel failed to come forward with any witnesses. Magistrate Bonnie vowed to discharge all the accused if the State counsel fails to produce witnesses on the next adjourned date. She cautioned ASP Mansaray who stepped into the shoes of the State counsel to close its case or come forward with additional witnesses. Since the inception of the matter the State counsel has led five witnesses in testimony. During the testimony of Police officer Manso Kargbo, he said he charged eight of the accused together with his colleague, Detective Sergeant Unisa Mohamed Kamara, after conducting interviews. Amongst the accused are Abu Bakarr Kamara, Alusine Jalloh, Alie Sillah, Memunatu Bangura, and Umu Barrie.  According to the statement of the 12th accused, he was about to cross the street when he was arrested by an OSD officer. The witness furthered, he interviewed the OSD officer that arrested the accused, noting that they also have bags of stones as exhibits of evidence. Kargbo also said they did their own enquiries on the issue from residents along Pultney Street and Waterloo Street. All accused were on bail and Magistrate Bonnie adjourned the matter to 27 May 2019.


By Mohamed J. Bah

Thursday May 16, 2019.


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