Sierra Leone: Defense Closes Case in Francis Haffner’s Murder Trial

Defense lawyer C. Blake of the Legal Aid Board representing the eight police officers that are standing trial in the High Court of Sierra Leone with the offence of Manslaughter, has yesterday closed the defense's case after leading their last witness.

The Eight Police Officers -John Bai Sankoh, Momoh Bangura, Gibril Bangura, John Karimu, Issa Sankoh, Mohamed Kamara, Mary Nallo and Alpha Conteh, all attached to the Central Police Division are answering to one count charge of Manslaughter, contrary to law.

According to State Prosecutor, Ahmed J.M Bockarrie , the accused on 29th May, 2015 at Robert Street, Common Ground Community allegedly killed one Francis Haffner.

Testifying in the High Court before Justice Miatta Samba prior to the closure of the defense's case, Police Inspector, Manso Kargbo said he knew all the accused persons and also admitted knowledge of the deceased.

He further recalled on 29th May, 2015 when he reported for night duty at the Central Police Station, stating that he went to the police cells on that day and observed that there were 30 males and 1 female that were already in custody.

He told the court that he went to crosscheck as to whether all the inmates were alright and that no complain was reported.

He said he visited the police cells several times before he left with his team on a night patrol and visited all central district police stations.

He further testified that upon his return, he again visited the cells and that the situation was normal.

"I went to my office to write report on the patrol when the lock up officer met me and reported that a certain inmate was complaining about his health. I asked the lock up officer to take him out .By the time I came out of my office, I met the deceased siting on the floor sweating profusely and was using his cloth to fan himself," he said.

He added that he later called for an electric fan to help cool off the deceased, while he further suggested they took him to the hospital, but the deceased refused and informed him that he was an asthma patient.

He told the court that he later interviewed the deceased for his address and ordered the lock up officer that he should not place him in the cell any longer.

He continued that everything was normal till morning, adding that he left the station and went home.

He told the court that when he resumed work on the next day, he was told that police officers had been arrested for the death of the deceased.

Matter adjourned to the 31st for addresses.

Source: Concord Times.

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