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Sierra Leone News: WhatsApp Libel…Accused sent to jail

pres koromaAn accused, Mamoud Tim Kargbo, who allegedly libelled President Ernest Bai Koroma on whatsApp by calling him a “wounded Beast” has been denied bail on three occassions.
He was arraigned before Magistrate Komba Kamanda of court No.1,on 8th April 2015.
For three adjournment dates, Defence Counsel, Pious Sesay had been applying for bail for the accused on the grounds that the accused is a sierra Leonean and will not jump bail.
Mr. Sesay states that the accused is presumed innocent until the court finds him guilty adding that the offence the accused is standing trial for is a bailable offence.
Continuously, the Acting Director of Public Prosecution, Sulaiman Bah has been objecting to bail stating that the alleged crime is serious and it undermines state security.
After listening to the legal argument, Magistrate Kamanda ruled against bail and the matter was adjourned to the 17th  April, 2015.
The accused is standing trial on five count charges, (1)calling a person by description other than his name contrary to section 3 (4) of the Public Order Act (POA) No. 46 of 1965,(2)Knowingly publishing a false defamatory libel contrary to section 26 of the POA No. 46 of 1965,(3)Knowingly publishing a false defamatory libel contrary to section 26 of the POA No. 46 of 1965,(4)Defamatory Libel contrary to section 27 of the POA No.46 of 1965 and (5)Defamatory Libel contrary to section 27 of the POA.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused on the 28 February, 2015 in Freetown with intent to annoy the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma called him a “wounded Beast” other than his name.
Also that the accused on the same date knowingly published a false material against the president in the form of written words in the WhatsApp Social Media Application to wit “President Koroma is a very strong suspect in the murder of the bodyguard.”
More so, that the accused in the form of a written word published in WhatsApp that “President Koroma at this point is a wounded beast who can do anything to remove the pressure off his back.”
By Emmanuella Kallon
Thursday April 09, 2015

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