By Janet A Sesay
Three witness have testified in the murder trial presided over by Magistrate Marke Ngegba of Pa Demba Road court in Freetown.
The testimony is centered on the alleged murder of Ibrahim Samura, journalist and proprietor of New Age Newspaper involving two accused persons, Herbert George Williams and Abu Bakarr Daramy.
The two accused persons were former mayor of Freetown City Council and Public Relations Officer, Western Area of the main opposition, All people’s Congress.
One, out of the three witnesses, is a formal witness known as Detective Police Constable Alpha Sesay attached to the Cyber Crime Unit at Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Freetown.
The Cyber Crime unit is a CID syndicate that investigates crimes committed by the use mobile forms, computers and other modern forms of communication.
Led in evidence by State Prosecutor Adrian Fisher, DPC Alpha Sesay told the court that his duty is to analyse information from mobile companies to track down criminals at large.
While testifying, Sesay recalled 28th January this year.
On the said date, Sesay said, he was on duty when his supervisor, inspector Allieu brought a file to him for analysis.
The file, the witness said, contained a telephone conversation between the deceased and the sixth prosecution witness, Abu Bakarr Tarawallie.
Sesay further testified that he transcribed the conversation, and signed it.
The document of transcription was tendered in evidence by the witness and formed part of the court records.
Counsel Melron Wilson Nicol represents the two accused persons.
Counsel Nicol cross-examined the formal witness during that day’s proceedings. The Witness while responding to Counsel’s questions said the conversation did not state that the accused persons assaulted the deceased.
The sixth prosecution witness, Abu-Bakarr Tarawalie who had earlier testified a week ago was briefly cross-examined by defence counsel.
During cross-examination, Tarawallie told the court that he contacted the deceased through phone.
Tarawallie also said at the time he conversed with the deceased, the deceased did not say he was a assaulted by the two accused persons.
Another prosecution witness, a local media practitioner, Mamoud Tim Kargbo also testified in the day’s trial.
Kargbo told the court that he recognized the accused persons and recalled 31st March, 2018.
On the said date, Kargbo narrated, he and the deceased were observing the 2018 presidential elections in the western area.
Whilst in execution of such duty, witness said, he went to Lightfoot Street and voted while the deceased voted at Hill Station in Freetown.
After he had voted, kargbo said, he met the deceased at Hill Station and both were there when they got an information about a gun shot at Lumley roundabout in Freetown.
“We boarded a vehicle bound for Lumley roundabout,” the witness said.
Upon their arrival at Lumley Roundabout (the scene of crime), the witness went on, they met journalists, civil society groups and others including the accused persons.
“We saw a Vandalized Hilux vehicle at the scene of crime,” the witness added.
Kargbo further testified that the deceased was about to take photos of the vehicle when a police personnel attacked him. “The police officer stopped, slapped and threatened to arrest the deceased and lock him up if he takes photos,” Kargbo told the court.
The witness also said the police officer did arrest the deceased and attempted to take him at the Lumley Police station, but said, he was stopped by former head of Police media.
Later, the witness said, he was invited by the police to make statements in respect of an assault matter reported by the deceased which, he said, he did.
The accused persons are standing trial for two counts of murder and grievous bodily harm.
The accused persons deny the allegations brought against them by the state.
The matter comes up 10th February.
By Janet A Sesay