Sierra Leone: Defense counsel for ADP leader raises issue of ‘trial by ambush’

Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, defense counsel for the first and second accused, Mohamed Bangura and Presidential aspirant, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, of the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), got himself into trouble for suggesting the matter would be a trial by ambush.

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Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray (second from left) walked out of the precincts of parliament by police officers

The accused are standing trial for assault and wounding, causing bodily harm and possession of small arms without lawful authority.Sgt. Joseph Abubakar Sanu, a forensic analyst attached to the Scientist Support Unit at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), said on Thursday 13 July 2017, that the Zap Gun allegedly used by the accused has all the characteristics of small arms.

He said Zap stun gun can be used as a striking weapon and that the strobe light will disturb the vision of victims, adding that it has all the characteristics of small arms.

According to Awoko, there was a heated argument between prosecutor Umu Sumara and the lead defense lawyer Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, which resulted in a 30-minute stand down.  References were made, from the prosecution, about the defence lawyer’s mother. The Magistrate threatened to arrest the defence lawyer for wasting the Court’s time with meaningless objections.

Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai said after the court sitting, “I raised a concern that after an expert witness was introduced by the prosecution without informing the defense as unfair because the defense won’t have enough time to prepare to confront the witness. He got angry and said I was wasting the court’s time. I insisted that it will be a trial by ambush. Then Magistrate Samai said he was not going to allow foolish objections, I either “shut up or sit down” or he will lock me up. I protested. He ordered my arrest thrice; I insisted he had no such powers to arrest me. After a standoff of about an hour, he asked the police to back off.”

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Categories: Politics, Security, Sierra Leone, Uncategorized

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