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Cyber expert testifies in social media trial

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Cyber expert testifies in social media trial

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The witness, who was led in evidence by police prosecutor 922 John Dumbuya, said he recognized accused persons and vividly recalled the incident of 16 November 2016.

Detective Tholley further informed the well-attended court session that on the aforementioned date he was on duty at the CID headquarters, when he received intelligence from the head of the Cyber Syndicate, ASP Thaimu Sesay, in respect of both accused persons’ mobile phone numbers.

He continued that the mobile phone numbers had posted the said information on Whatsapp forum and as data system analyst he wasted no time to use an application to identify the cell numbers of accused persons.

He said he finally tracked the first accused, Theresa Mbomaya, through her cell phone by using an application called international mobile identification (IME) to identified sim (1) and (2) of the first accused cell line, stating that he, together with detective police Sgt 1776 Marion and ASP Thaimu Sesay, arrested her at St Edwards Secondary School Compound at Kingtom.

The first accused, he went on, was cautioned and questioned in respect of the alleged offences committed, which were done in  consonance with the judge’s rules and admitted to have posted the said information on Whatsapp.

The cyber analyst and forensic expert also testified that they later requested for her black coloured mobile phone, which she used to post the Whatsapp message and had been in the custody of the Exhibit Clerk, at their offices.

The witness also disclosed that on 16 November 2016, the same team of CID personnel were able to identify the cell phone number of second accused, Bokai Kokofele, who was alleged to have posted false communication to incite the public and threaten state security on a Whatsapp forum called Youth Empowerment.

He said they also cautioned and questioned him in respect of the alleged offences, and that, he admitted to have posted the said communication intended to ignite commotion and threaten state security, before they were whisked to the CID headquarters for further interrogation.

Detective Sgt Tholley noted that the cell phone numbers of the accused were opened in the presence of the investigators and contents displayed, before they were handed over to him for forensic examination, adding that he used a software to enter internal devices and extract present and items deleted of the accused mobile phones.

At this stage of proceedings, led counsel for the accused person, Francis Ben Kaifala, request for an adjournment and Magistrate Dr. Abubakar Binneh Kamara adjourned the matter to 6 December 2016.

In a separate engagement, Magistrate Kamara had promised to admit six members of a notorious clique gang to bail, come 2 December 2016, on the grounds that they had spent more than two months at the Male Correctional Centre and had been very cooperative since the commencement of proceedings on the matter.

All accused persons were represented by Larel Fio Ewdards Jnr and the matter was adjourned to 2 December 2016.        

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