The eight police personnel are facing trial before Magistrate, Komba Kamanda for their involvement in the alleged murder of one Francis Samuel Haffner, alias Agba Sisko Elgado during a police raid on Robert Street and Naimbana Street vicinity in the central of the capital.
Led in evidence by the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Samuel Koroma, the first Prosecution Witness who is also the deceased wife, Hannah Browne told the court that she recognized all the accused persons and vividly recalled Friday, 29 May 2015 that, on the eve of the above stated date, her husband went to attend a Church Revival Service at the Ark Community Centre on Robert Street in Freetown while she went to visit a friend at Naimbana Street.
The witness further explained that, whiles returning home after spending some time with her friend, her husband’s (now deceased) friend informed her that police officers had raided Robert Street vicinity and had arrested her husband.
Madam Hannah Browne informed the well attended court that she went home and informed the deceased sister and that they decided to check at the Central Police Division where the deceased was detained on the following day.
She narrated that upon her arrival at the Central Police Division on the following day, she met her husband in open detention perspiring, crying and groaning in pain.
The witness further narrated that when she enquired from her husband as to what the problem was, she said, the deceased disclosed that he was seriously beaten by the accused persons and was brought out of the police cell for resuscitation, adding that she later went up to the operations office to secure bail for the deceased but she was advised to see the first accused person, Inspector John Sankoh as he was in charge of the matter.
According to Hannah Browne, the deceased son, Charles Haffner Jnr also met her at the Central Police Division to ensure that his father was released to them on police bail but that the Six accused, Alpha Conteh demanded the sum of Three Hundred Thousand Leones from them before they could release the deceased.
Hannah Browne also intimated the court that after several deliberations the deceased son, Charlie Haffner Jrn. handed over One Hundred Fifty Thousand Leones to the six accused, Alpha Conteh and the deceased was released to them.
She asserted that on arrival at their residence on No.1 Cole Street in Freetown, Francis Samuel Haffner was unable to eat the food she prepared for him as according to her, he was continuously crying, groaning and complaining of acute pain.
As the deceased condition she informed got even worse and was rushed to the Connaught Hospital for treatment. She said the deceased however died in the vehicle on their way to the hospital.
She concluded by stating that, she reported her husband death to the then Local Unit Commander of the Central Police Division, Mr. Marco who instructed three CID personnel to obtain statement from her in connection with the alleged murder case.
Before refusing the accused persons bail, lawyer for the second accused, S.M Sesay renewed his application for bail on behalf of the accused persons on the grounds that they had credible and reliable Sierra Leoneans who were willing and ready to serve as sureties and will not interfere with the prosecution witnesses.
In his ruling, the Presiding Magistrate, Komba Kamanda told his audience that the issue of bail squarely lies in his bosom and that, although the charges preferred against the accused persons are bailable offences, he said he will however not grant the accused persons bail at this stage of the trial process.
The matter comes up on 4th of October 2015.