Sierra Leone News: Court Martial Suspect on the Run… 5 in Custody

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    Captain Patrick Edwin Kamara

    Major Yayah Brima attached to the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Defense has confirmed to this press that five military personnel are currently in detention helping the police and the military with investigations into the alleged escape of Captain Patrick Edwin Kamara, who was standing trial before a court martial in Freetown.

    Captain Kamara was the commander of the Presidential Guard Force Unit under former President Ernest Bai Koroma and report that he escaped from the military detention at Wilberforce Barracks without any sign of breakage.

    He was charged alongside two others – SLAF 18165301 Warrant Officer Class One, Samuel Conteh and RSLAF 18167256 Warrant Officer Class Two, Abu Bakarr Jalloh on five counts ranging from conspiracy, larceny by servant, wilful neglect and ordering damage to service property, wilful damage to service property, to conduct that was prejudicial to the group order and military discipline, contrary to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Sierra Leone Act No.34 of 1961 as amended. But they have pleaded not guilty to the offences.

    The trio were alleged to have between January 1st, 2008 and 19th June, 2018, in Freetown, with intent to steal from the government of Sierra Leone, conspired together with other persons unknown to steal by unlawfully agreeing to steal 4,245 rounds of 12.7 millimeter AA rounds, 3,828 rounds of 14.5 millimeter AA rounds, 11 guns of RPG 6 rounds of 7.62/39 milimetres, 11,476 rounds of 7.62/39 milimetres gun, 14,100 rounds of 7.62/39 millimeters tracer, 6,740 rounds of 7.62/51 millimeters bird wink, 515 rounds of 9/18 millimeters, all to the value of $80,402.30 equivalent to Le 683,490,550, property of the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL).

    The investigators had alleged that the men committed a civil offence contrary to Section 72 of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Sierra Leone Act No.34 of 9161 as amended, that is to say larceny by servant contrary to Section 17(2) (a) of the Larceny Act of 1916.

    However, the accused had denied the allegations and testified before the court martial. The matter is already nearing completion with both the prosecution and defense expected to address the court yesterday. It is unclear whether Captain Kamara is within the jurisdiction of Freetown as both the police and the military could not locate him as at press time.

    Meanwhile, in a press release issued by the Ministry of Defence/Republic of Sierra Leone Armed forces (MoD/RSLAF) it stated among other things that Captain Patrick Edwin Kamara, who was being tried in Court Martial along with two others for various offences relating to arms and ammunition, has escaped from the military Custodial Centre at Wilberforce Barracks in Freetown. Captain Kamara is believed to have escaped in the early hours of Tuesday, 21 May 2019.

    The release went on to state that the five soldiers, who were the security guards at the Custodial Centre, have been arrested. These soldiers are currently being investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in connection with the circumstances leading to Captain Kamara’s escape. Meanwhile, all efforts are being made to re-arrest the escapee military officer.

    The release went further to state that Captain Kamara’s escape came a day after the Court Martial trial was adjourned on the request of the Defence Team. Both the Defence and the Prosecution would have made their final submissions if the trial had not been adjourned.

    Meanwhile, the MoD/RSLAF is informing the public that the two other accused persons in the Court Martial trial, namely, Warrant Officer Class 1 Samuel Conteh and Warrant Officer Class 2 Abu Bakarr Jalloh are still remanded at the Custodial Centre.

    More importantly, the release added that the TWIN PARTNER of fugitive Captain Kamara COINCIDENTALLY passed away yesterday at Makoth, seven miles off Yonibana near Mile 91 after a long illness. The deceased, Michael Kamara, had first been admitted at the Chinese Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Centre at the 34 Military Hospital before he was later moved to the village for native treatment, where he died.

    Following these coincidences, the MoD/RSLAF has followed some misleading and inaccurate story purporting that Captain Kamara has died in detention. The writer is believed to have deliberately mistaken the death of Michael Kamara for the fugitive Captain Kamara.

    Meanwhile, the remains of Michael Kamara was conveyed to Freetown by the deceased’s wife, Captain Alice Koria Sesay, who is also a serving military officer.

     

     

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