The verdict which was jointly pronounced by the Judge Advocate and the President of the Military Tribunal states that the fourteen personnel of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces were acquitted and discharged on all the charges preferred against them for lack of evidence by the persecution to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt.
Before delivering his verdict, the Judge Advocate, Otto During told the jam-packed court session that the prosecution failed to tender exhibits or provide satisfactory evidence for the court to rely on with regards to the charges preferred against the fourteen accused persons and the case before the court.
He also informed the audience that some of the charges preferred against the accused persons were not done in strict compliance with the Judges’ rules, adding that the court could not also record any factual evidence of witnesses through the trial process.
According the Judge Advocate, there were a lot of inconsistencies in the witnesses’ statements and the evidences before the tribunal were never challenged by the persecution.
He also stated that the court was even deprived of the opportunity to access an exhibit tendered by the prosecution for the court to compare and contrast in order to fairly dispensed justice to whom it is due.
He also informed the tribunal session that, there is no evidence before the Tribunal stating that the military armory at Teckor Barracks in Makeni were broken into by the accused persons or share arms among them for the purposes of staging a mutiny.
“When justice is elusive the whole country will not be able to move on and justice is a two way affair. It is very important to note that justice is historically imperative that should not be ignored,” Said Judge Otto During.
He concluded that, the act of mutiny is carried out by two or more people secretly and backed by corroborative evidence like, tape and video recordings and it also done with specific reasons and intent which the prosecution failed to produced in evidence.
It could be recalled that thirteen military personne were apprehended in August 2015 for allegedly conspiring with other persons unknown to commit mutiny in Makeni in Bombali District, Northern Province of Sierra Leone.
The thirteen acquitted and discharged military personnel include; Private Momoh Kargbo , Warrant Officer Class 11 Federick Johnson, Private Abdulai Coker Suma, Corporal Mohamed Massaquoi , Lance Corporal Momoh Conteh, Private Tamba Sheku, Private Gbessay Koroma , Private Alpha Mansaray, Corporal Alex Jibao Koroma, Private Mustapha Quee, Private Kellie Kamara, Private Musa Fabai and Captain Prince Sesay.