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Sierra Leone News: “Police officers should be trained in law” -Court Martial Judge

Judge Adovate Otto DuringJudge Advocate, in the ongoing Military Court Martial Otto O. During, yesterday urged especially the Prosecution, that they should ensure that “police and CID officers should be given special training on the law.”
He made this statement during cross-examination of the third Prosecution witness, Sahr Rexon Allieu, attached to the CID Headquarters  by defence Counsel Julius Cuffie on behalf of the third accused, Private Abdulai Coker Suma who the witness was asked to investigate, concerning the alleged case of mutiny.
The Judge Advocate stated that Police and CID offices should be lectured and trained in the law and if possible, they should be sent to the law school to be trained, since they are dealing with the law.
Judge During stated that the legal profession is technical and critical and therefore it requires people who are dealing with it to be trained properly on it.
The Defence Counsel questioned the witness about the presence of the accused at the time of the crime, as he said from the statement of the  accused, he was deployed at Saneya around Guinea Border in Bombali District and he was posted by the Battalion Commander Lt. Col. J.S. Bockarie and that he was there from April to August 2013.
The witness stated that from the investigation he conducted, the accused was only deployed from August to September and that he could not prove his alibi, but that he did not cross- check whether the accused was on leave or not, as the Battalion Commander was not around.
Questioned about the interview conducted at the house of the third accused Private Suma, the witness stated that he went to the quarters of the accused and met a lot of people and that he found some phone numbers of different mobile companies and they were of police interest, but the counsel said it is only the wife and children of the accused who are occupying the quarter.
The defence told the witness that as an investigator, all what he did was to obtain  a statement from accused and that since it was the first time he was investigating mutiny cases, therefore he was overwhelmed and was anxious to prove to his bosses that he could do well.
The witness denied saying was he was doing it with his conscience and his God.
The trial of the 14 military personnel charged with alleged munity started on 2nd April 2014 and for over two months the prosecution has presented only three witnesses.
By Betty Milton
Tuesday June 17, 2014

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