In Dr Blyden’s Case… Cyber Officer Tenders Important Exhibits

By Janet A. Sesay

Detective Police Constable Alpha Sesay, with Force No. 588, attached to the Cyber Crime Unit, Criminal Investigation Department in Freetown, has, on Monday 21st September 2020, tendered important exhibits in the on-going preliminary investigation of Dr Sylvia Blyden and Mukson Sesay over the alleged defamation of President Julius Maada Bio.

Police alleged that Dr Blyden, on diverse dates between 2018 and 2020, wrote series of defamatory messages on her social media page, which were seen to have defamed the President, whiles Mukson was accused of perverting the course of justice after he took photos of Dr Blyden while she was at the CID and distributed them on social media.

Dr Blyden faced ten counts of related defamatory charges, whiles Muckson Sesay is faced with one count charge of perverting the course of justice.

DPC Alpha Sesay, whose functions, at the Cyber Unit of CID, include to analyse call logs from mobile companies, collect and analyze digital evidence, recalled that, on the 9th May 2020, whiles he was on duty at the aforementioned Unit, he received a request from the Operations Officer, CID, Superintendent Mohamed Kuba Alieu, to examine some assorted computers and mobile phones on behalf of both accused.

DPC Sesay furthered that he received one camera, one memory card, card readers and an Apple IPad from the first accused, adding that he also received one HP laptop, which belongs to the second accused.

He said, upon request, he was asked to do a forensic investigation on the items and bring out findings.

According to him, he was able to retrieve evidential materials for the items, which belong to the first accused. Among them are 18 WhatsApp videos and audio messages, which were stored in a memory stick.

DPC Sesay detailed that he discovered pictorial evidence on the second accused’s mobile phone, which had a WhatsApp group titled “Free Dr Blyden.” He added that all the videos and photos discovered were screenshot and transferred into a memory stick. The said memory stick was tendered as evidence in court, he continued.

He added that, to ensure data integrity, the value report was printed into hard copies from the computer of the second accused. He also visited social media platforms of the first accused and screenshot the messages she sent out and printed them into hard copies.

At this juncture, the State Prosecutor, Yusif Isaac Sesay, disclosed to the court that the Cyber Unit Department at the CID was in possession of a 4G memory stick, which is not before the court. He therefore requested for an adjournment to enable the witness to bring the said memory stick to court.

Defense Counsel, Lawyer Francis Margai, requested Magistrate Hannah Bonnie to make an order for the prosecution to furnish him with all the documents tendered in court so that he will have time to go through them.

Magistrate Hannah Bonnie granted the request and adjourned the matter to the 12th October 2020.

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