By Elkas Sannoh
The Criminal Session of the High Court in Sierra Leone Holden in Kabala commenced hearing on the Monday 14th September, 2020 with sixty-two (62) cases to be tried and four (4) among the aforesaid may face death panelist if convicted.
The court presided over by His Lordship the Hon. Justice Abdula Rahim Mansaray will run for two weeks and will expeditiously try sixty-two (62) cases of which four are murder, five sexual penetration, four robbery with aggravation, thirteen wounding with intent and others.
Public Relations Officer of the Judiciary of Sierra Leone, Moses Lamin Kamara, said the return of the Holden of the Special Criminal Session of the High Court in Kabala is provided for in Statuary Instrument No. 21 of 2019 and the said instrument according to him gives the Hon. Chief Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards to hold Criminal Sessions of the High Court in new locations such as Kabala and Tonkolili added to Port Loko in the north, Pujehun and Mattru Jong added to Moyamba in the South and Kailahun in the East.
“Since his appointment as Hon. Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Judiciary has for the first time in history; held two criminal sessions of the High Court without funding from any donor and has tried over five hundred criminal cases which many considered as a huge success,” disclosed the Judiciary’s PRO, Moses Lamin Kamara.
Mr. Kamara said the aim of the session is to ensure that those who are supposed to be in prison are kept there and those who are not found wanting by law are either acquitted and discharged or discharged.
Commenting on those who are standing trial for murder and sexual penetration, Mr. Kamara said the law is very clear that whosoever is convicted for murder shall face death by hanging and for sexual penetration it depends on the age of the convict. He said if the convict is between twelve to seventeen years, he will be sentenced to a minimum of five and a maximum of ten years imprisonment.
From eighteen to twenty three years, the convict will be sentenced from a minimum of ten to life imprisonment and if someone is twenty three years and above, he will be sentenced to a minimum of fifteen years to life imprisonment.