Court Martial Today Accused Of Stealing Arms & Ammunitions Costing Le645M

Three officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) are undergoing a court martial trial at Military headquarters, Cockerill, on allegation of 5 Count Charges.

They are: SLA1246 Captain Patrick Edwin Kamara, 18165301 Warrant Officer Class One Samuel Conteh and 18167256 Warrant Officer Class Two Abu Bakarr Jalloh.

The state alleges that the three officers on trial, with others unknown, committed the following offenses: conspiracy (contrary to Military Law – Sec 72 of RSLAF Act No. 34 of 1961), larceny by servant (Sec 17(a) of the Larceny Act 1916), willful neglect and ordering damage to service property (Sec 49c of military law), willful damage to service property and conduct that was prejudicial to group order and military discipline, contrary to the RSLAF Act No.34 of 1961 as amended. All accused took a not guilty plea.

They are represented by the former Anti Corruption Commission boss Ade Macauley, Dosril Taylor and Amadu Koroma. Presiding Judge Advocate is Alhaji Momoh-Jah Steven, assisted by a panel of five military jurists – President of the panel Lieutenant Colonel Kerifa Kamara, Lt. Col. A. B. Keita, Major Victor Momoh, Major Brima Ngavuwa Sama and Major Sallieu Kallon..

Details of the charges specify that among other crimes, the trio allegedly between 2008 and 2018 stole 4245 rounds of 12.7 millimeter AA (anti-aircraft) rounds, bullets, guns and ammunitions to the value of Le683, 419,000, being property of the Government of Sierra Leone.

Lead defense lawyer denounced the state for keeping the accused in custody for 190 days, stating that the maximum time a suspect can be detained without charges is 10 days. First accused was arrested on June 9th 2018 and has since been in custody. Six weeks ago, he said he applied for their clients to be granted bail pending charges but that the application was turned down. He called it a violation of the rights of their clients by the state.

He furthered that the burden of proof lied with the state including presenting to the court forensic evidence such as fingerprint linking the accused to the allegations against them. If that is not done, he argued that the defense will be aggrieved.

In consideration of this, the Judge Advocate assured the defense team that their clients will be ensured a speedy trial that will not last more than three months. However, he demurred to grant bail stating that the accused will continue to be in custody in their military cells. He adjourned the case to today Tuesday January 8th 2018 for further hearing.