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Sierra Leone News: Court martial trial… 1st accused ends evidence in chief

The first accused in the military court martial trial involving ammunition discovered at the presidential lodge in June 2018, Captain Patrick E. Kamara has completed giving evidence in chief. Addressing the Judge advocate Justice Momoh-jah Stevens and a panel of  board members at the Military Court Martial Head Quarters, Cockeril in Freetown, the first accused said two back loading of ammunitions were done after the election. According to him, no report was made of any missing ammunition. Kamara said, he only came to know about missing ammunition after his first interview at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which was sometime after the 21st of June 2018. Kamara said, to his knowledge, there were no issues relating to missing ammunition during his deployment at the Lodge. He further said during his interview at the CID, he did not only tell the investigators that he had photos and videos of the trainings he conducted, he showed them also. He said the reaction of Major Justin Koroma (one of the investigators then) was ‘it is not enough ‘. The accused further said he showed the investigating team training documents for 2012 and 2013 but they did not take them into consideration. Also he said he showed them documents of weekly arms and ammunition returns; and ammunition accounts score card. Kamara said the investigation team did not at any time take the various documents or made copies of them. He concluded by saying that he loved his job and wanted to continue to serve the people of Sierra Leone and wanted to continue to protect the constitution. The state prosecutor, Joseph A. K. Sesay did a half way cross examination of the accused and asked for an adjournment of the matter. The matter was adjourned to Tuesday 23 April 2019. The accused, Captain Patrick E. Kamara is jointly charged with, Samuel Conteh, a Warrant Officer Class One, and Abu Bakarr Jalloh, a Warrant Officer Class Two. The three were senior officials of former President Koroma’s guards. Between 1st January 2008 and 19th June 2018 in Freetown, it is alleged that Captain Patrick Kamara, Samuel Conteh, a Warrant Officer Class One, and Abu Bakarr Jalloh, a Warrant Officer Class Two, conspired and stole from the Government of Sierra Leone, 4,245 rounds of 12.7 millimetre anti-aircraft (AA) rounds of ammunition, 3,828 rounds of 14.4 millimetre AA rounds, 11 grenades and 6 rounds of 7.62/39 millimetre gun, 14,100 rounds of 7.62/39 millimetre tracers, amongst many others. The trio are before a military Court Martial to answer to five charges, ranging from Conspiracy, Larceny by Servant, Willful neglect and ordering damage to service property, willful damage of service property, and conduct that was prejudicial to the group order and military discipline contrary to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Sierra Leone Act No.34 of 1961, as amended. First accused Captain Patrick E. Kamara is represented by lawyer Ady Macauley, and D. Taylor represents the second accused, Samuel Conteh. Third accused Abu Bakarr Jalloh is represented by Amadu Koroma.

By Edna Browne-Dauphine

Wednesday April 17, 2019.


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