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Jurors paralyse court sittings

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Jurors paralyse court sittings


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On Wednesday 22 December 2016, three jurors, Mohamed Abu Bangura, Mohamed Sam and the foreman, Julius Tony Moiwo, sitting at Freetown High Court, presided over by Justice Monfred Sesay, were conspicuously absent in a matter involving Solomon Gbondi and Hector Sesay, charged with murder, conspiracy and robbery with aggravation.

Their action was said to have been serious enough to paralyse the entire court proceedings much at the detriment of accused persons and the entire planned activities of the court.

The presiding judge, who also expressed disappointment at them, said since the jurors were not properly constituted, he could not go on with the adjudication of felonious matters before the court.

He maintained that both the prosecution and defense were ready to go on with the proceedings, noting that the prosecution brought forward two witnesses in the persons of Thaimu Kargbo and Abdul Wurie for testimony.

Justice Sesay seized the opportunity to inform officers of the Male Correctional Centre, who normally escort prisoners to court on remand warrant, to convey to inmates that the court, prosecution and their defense counsels should not be blamed for the snail-paced process of the proceedings, as both parties did extremely well to proceed, but that their efforts were forestalled by the absence of three jurors.

As a result of that situation Justice Sesay ordered that all accused persons be remanded at the Male Correctional Centre on Pademba Road in west end of the country’s capital Freetown. The matter was adjourned to 11 January 2017.     

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