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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Magistrate Binneh hails Journalists

HomeAYV NewsMagistrate Binneh hails Journalists

Magistrate Binneh hails Journalists


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He made these statements while adjudicating matters in his new dispensation with a specific reference to public perceptions about how magistrates adjudicate and give judgments on matters before the court.

According to him, magistrates in Sierra Leone are faced with a lot of occupational health hazards and  criticisms from members of the public who think or believe, magistrate should deliver judgments on matters in their favor even though, they are on the negative side of the law.

Magistrate Binneh informed the court that, it is the constitutional rights of litigants to express their views and opinions vis-à-vis situation they are faced with, and that it is the responsibility of the media to sustain such views and opinions discussions in the public domain.

‘I must state that the media in Sierra Leone has considerably improved in their reportage. I would like to admonish journalists to continue in such light and refrain from making generic statements and publication,” Magistrate Binneh observed.

Sierra Leone, he said, is a country of law and order and there is nothing like a win-win-situation in a court of law, in the sense that, a litigant would only describe a magistrate as a forthright man with the law in his or her bosom when judgment is delivered in his or her favor, whiles the loser castigates him or her, as a bad or corrupt magistrate.

He made reference to a particular matter in which fourteen accused persons who were charged to court with the offence of murder and the matter was been adjudicated by the Magistrate Komba Kamanda, now High Court Judge.

 The matter, he said was transferred to his court later on  at Ross Road in Freetown and that, after he had cautiously examined, digested and perused the accused persons case file, he realized that, there was no evidence against  ten accused persons charged with the offence of murder.

According to Magistrate Binneh, he discharged the ten accused persons on the grounds of want of evidence, which was in breach of the Rules and Procedure, stating that he has no room for prosecution witnesses who have abandoned their case and have no time to proceed with their matters.

He disclosed that the media was very professional to cross checking the story with him, and based upon his responses the media was able to separate the wits from the chaffs which are fine and enviable attributes of professional journalism 

Dr Binneh made it categorically clear that, he will discharge accused persons whose complainants and formal witnesses are unavailable to court for their testimonies, except in an exceptional matters, as he cannot continue to permanently detain accused persons on the part of negligence and care free attitude of litigants and witnesses.

He maintained that, the prosecution has a duty to the court in terms of adducing evidence against accused persons, but that if the factual and formal witnesses cannot testify in their matters, the prosecution will have no leg to stand on, and sympathized with the prosecution for facing serious constrains in getting witnesses to testify.

 Concluding, Magistrate Binneh stated that in law, when you assert, you must prove and his court is very busy and has no room to prolong matters, because of the non appearance of factual and formal witnesses to proceed with matters before the court.

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