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Attorney General Accused of Perverting Justice

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Attorney General Accused of Perverting Justice

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The letter was dated November 25, 2015 and addressed to the minister, who is acting for and on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. John Java Bestman, the parents of a five year-old child, named withheld, who is alleged to have been sexually assaulted by the suspect, Sayoh Kamara.

The letter disclosed that, following the return of Mr. Bestman to Sierra Leone from his overseas trip, he observed certain behavioural changes in his daughter; which prompted him to engage her in further discussion.

During their discussion, the victim explained that, upon one of her visits with her mother, she was sexually assaulted by a relative of the mother, a twenty-six year- old man.

The letter further disclosed that, his client later took his child for examination at a clinic on Wesley Street in Freetown, but that upon examination, he was told that no treatment will be carried out, as the circumstances pointed to an offence having been committed.

Lawyer J.B. Jenkins Johnston indicated his client then made a report at the Criminal Investigation Department in Freetown, under the leadership and supervision of the Head of the Family Support Unit (FSU). He said investigations were conducted, including tests from the Rainbow Medical Centre in Freetown.

According to him, the FSU Head informed him that at the conclusion of the investigation, the file was sent to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Franklyn Bai Kargbo, for a prompt review and proffered as opinion, whether there was sufficient evidence to charge the matter to court.

Lawyer Jenkins Johnston said the FSU Head contacted his client and the suspect and read over to them, the advice from the Attorney-General accordingly, and the suspect was then detained in readiness for trial.

He also stated that it was at this juncture that the FSU Head confirmed that, the Minster of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Alhaji Moijue Kai Kai got involved in the matter and accused the police of not conducting their investigations properly.

The letter also revealed that Minister Moijue Kai Kai even argued that, there was a ten-year old suspect who was also supposed to have been charged to court, notwithstanding the minimum age of criminal responsibility, as provided for, under Section 10, of the Child Right Act No.7, of 2007.

J.B. Jenkins Johnston made it crystal clear that, the Attorney-General and Minster of Justice later requested for the case file to be sent back to him and for the suspect already in police custody to be immediately released.

He added that the Attorney-General’s decision was much to the chagrin of the Head of the F.S.U., considering the advice already received  from his office, and that, the request was carried out by other officials without any further recourse to her.

As a result of this swift development, he went on; the FSU Head subsequently issued a warrant of arrest for the suspect, who is now at large with the warrant still in force.

Lawyer Jenkins Johnston noted that, on October 15, 2015, the secretary to the Attorney-General signed for the file, but that it has since been dormant with no action taken, despite several advices from the AG’s office.

He also seized the opportunity to remind the Attorney-General of the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act N0.12 of 2012, and the provisions of Section 43, of the Anti Corruption Act No. 10 of 2008.

He urged the Attorney-General to release the file in question with immediate effect; in consonance with the advice already given in order to allow the law to take its rightful course.

AYV Newspaper made efforts to contact the Attorney-General and Minster of Justice and the Minster of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs for their own version of the letter via telephone calls to both and a visit to the former to no avail.

The letter was also addressed to several public institutions and offices including the Secretary to the President, the Anti Corruption Commission, the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, the Director of Public Prosecution, the Independent Police Complaint Board, Head of the Family Support Unit and the Human Rights Commission to name.

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