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LAB client blast aunt for incarceration

18,Jan 2017
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‘My aunt who happens to be the complainant in the matter against me was only interested in having me behind bars which she succeeded in doing,’ Tejan Suma said following his discharge by the court on Monday, 16 January 2017. ‘My aunt was never interested in seeking justice. This is why she never testified in the trial, not once.’

Tejan Suma and Ishmael Kanu were discharged for want of prosecution following an application by the lawyer for the Legal Aid Board, Cheryl Sembie. Prior to the application, the State Prosecutor had told the court that the formal witness is not interested in proceeding with the matter.

The statement of offence notes that the accused persons were arrested on 26 October 2015 and taken to the Adonkia Police Station following a complaint by Kadiatu Netherwood who had alleged that Tejan and Ismael broke into her house and stole nine million leones (Le9,000,000).

The two spent eight days in detention at the Adonkia Police while the matter was being investigated. They were consequently charged with larceny and conspiracy.  The accused were denied bail by Magistrate Bangura of Court No. 5 during preliminary trial.

Magistrate Bangura committed the matter to the High Court in January 2016. The accused spent eight months at the Pademba Road Correctional Center before they were issued an indictment in September 2016.

Speaking during pre-discharge orientation at the Legal Aid Board office in Freetown, the accused still maintain their innocence. Tejan also drew attention to fact that while the statement of offence indicate that nine million leones was stolen the indictment on the other hand put the amount at nineteen million leones.

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has no kind words for the complainant, Kadiatu Netherwood for failing to testify    in the matter. ‘This woman made very serious allegations against these young men but deliberately refused to testify in court,’ she said. ‘The whole idea that the complainant should cooperate with the investigation at the police but withdraw from the matter once the suspect is charged and refused bail is unacceptable by every standard. We have too many such cases in our courts. It is high time we started doing something about it because it is undermining the justice system.’

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