Freetown, 26 January 2021. The Legal Aid Board has provided representation to 36 accused persons arraigned before the Honourble Justice Reginald Fyne, Justice of the Appeal Court at the January Criminal Call-Over (a session where trial dates are allocated to upcoming cases) held at the High Court on Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown. The accused persons were charged with different offences including wounding with intent, burglary and housebreaking, larceny, murder, and sexual penetration.
The 36 were part of a total of 52 accused persons whose matters were heard by Justice Fyne during the one-day session on Monday, 25 January 2021. Of the 36 accused persons represented by the Legal Aid Counsels, two were females while 34 were males.
19 of the 36 were granted bail while 17 were refused bail. Also, three accused persons pleaded guilty, while the remaining 33 pleaded not guilty. One of the three who pleaded guilty, Kelfala Mansaray was sentenced to four years on each of the four counts including time spent. The sentences will be served concurrently. The other two, John Koroma and Usif Mansaray were sentenced to three years and two years respectively.
12 accused persons were absent. Three of them were issued with bench warrants by the judge.
Speaking during the closing stage of the Call Over, the Learned Justice commended lawyers from both the Law Officers Department and the Board for ensuring the speedy conclusion of the Call Over. The Legal Aid Counsels were Cecilia Tucker who also doubles as Legal Aid Board Manager and Morrison Karimu.
In related development, Legal Aid Counsel for the North, Ibrahim Samba provided representation to 12 accused persons during the Call Over session in Makeni on Monday, January 25. Six of the accused persons were granted bail while four were sentenced to various prison terms ranging from one to two years. The rest were refused bail and had their matters adjourned.
Credit: Moriba Kamara