Five Soldiers Detained Over Escape Of Army Captain From Military Detention - Salone Mirror News

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Five Soldiers Detained Over Escape Of Army Captain From Military Detention

At least five soldiers have been arrested following the escape of Captain Patrick E. Kamara from the military detention facility at Wilberforce in the early hours of yesterday, a senior officer of the Ministry of Defence said Tuesday.

Captain Kamara is standing trial at the court martial with two other military officers for willfully damaging service property - 1,600 rounds of 14.5 mm anti-aircraft ammunition and 178 rounds of 12.7mm anti-aircraft ammunition, all to the value of $10,401.40 Le88, 401,900 property of Government of Sierra Leone; conspired to steal ammunition; and involved in a conduct which is prejudicial to the group order and military discipline.

The court martial is constituted in Freetown to hear a case of the three soldiers of the former Joint Presidential Guard Forces (JPGF): Captain Patrick E. Kamara, 1st accused; Samuel Conteh, Warrant Officer Class 1, 2nd accused; and Abu Bakarr Jalloh, Warrant Officer Class 2, 3rd accused.

Public Relations and Information Officer of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Major Yayah Brima told Premier News that the circumstances surrounding his escape are yet unclear, but some arrest have been made including personnel on guard at Wilberforce detention facility.

“As of this morning, at least five suspects have been arrested. As the investigation is ongoing, it is possible that more arrest will be made,” Major Brima said. “The name of the suspects will not be disclosed at the moment because these are just soldiers being investigated and it is possible that they do not have any connection to the escape of the first accused.”

Court Martial should have received the closing addresses by both the defence councils and the prosecution yesterday, but it was postponed to May 28, 2019.

According to Major Brima, the postponement of the hearing is not connected to the escape of the Captain Kamara. He explained that the defence councils requested on Monday May 20, 2019, for the postponement. “But unfortunately and coincidentally, this morning we leant that Captain Kamara has escaped,” he said.

After defense counsels closed their case in the ongoing Court Martial trial on Tuesday May 7, 2019. The Presiding Judge Advocate Alhaji Momoh-Jah Stevens disclosed that the trial has ended.

On May 7, 2019, Justice Stevens gave two weeks for both the defence councils and the state prosecutions to prepare for their closing addresses on May 21.

According to the Judge, he will have done a summing up the following week which should have been Tuesday May 28, 2019.

The trial came to an end on Tuesday May 7, 2019, after accused made 19 appearances.

The prosecutors led 20 witnesses and tendered about 15 exhibits to prove its case against the accused persons. The witnesses comprise senior officers from both military and police including two civilians.
The evidential burden lies on the prosecution to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt.
In defending the case, defense counsel for the first accused, Lawyer Ady Macaulay called Captain P. E. Kamara to take the witness stand and called two additional witnesses on behalf of the first accused.

The defense counsel for the second accused, Lawyer D. Taylor did not call his client to the witness stand but rather rely on the voluntarily caution statement his client made at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Also, the defense counsel for the third accused, Amadu Koroma did not call an additional witness, but his client took the witness stand.

In total, the prosecution led 20 witnesses, and the defense counsels led four witnesses. The prosecution tendered about 15 exhibits, while the defense counsel for the first accused, Lawyer Macaulay tendered some exhibits, but the counsel for the second and third accused did not tender exhibits.

The ongoing trial is presided by the Judge Advocate, Alhaji Momoh-Jah Stevens and the court martial board: Lieutenant Colonel Kerifa Kamara, president of court martial board; Lieut. Col. A. B. Keita; Major Victor Momoh; Major Brima Ngavuwa Sama; and Major Sallieu Kallon.

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