During a preliminary hearing at Ross Road Court No.1, the presiding Magistrate, Sahr Kekura, criticized the police investigations, describing them as inadequate.
His remark was prompted by the revelation that the police had released the vehicle containing the twenty-one stolen bags of government rice during their investigation.
The accused, Mohamed Jalloh, stands before the court facing charges of conspiracy to commit felony and larceny, in violation of Section 2 of the Larceny Act of 1916.
The case file, number C/S 1098/2023, alleges that on April 12th, 2023, at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay in Cline Town, Jalloh conspired with unidentified individuals to steal twenty-one bags of imported rice valued at one hundred and twenty thousand new Leones (Le120,000.00). The rice was under the custody of Tejan Sesay.
Before learning about the release of the vehicle, the police witness, Detective Inspector Melvin George Wallace from the Criminal Investigation Department at Ross Road police station, identified the accused in the courtroom.
The witness, led in his examination by Sergeant Memuna Manica Turay, stated that on April 12th, 2023, he was on duty when a report was received regarding a vehicle, registered as APF 636, loaded with twenty-one bags of government rice.
According to the witness, a search conducted on April 13th revealed the twenty-one bags of rice inside the truck. The witness handed them over to the exhibit clerk for proper documentation.
On April 19th, 2023, the accused was cautioned and questioned in the presence of Sergeant 2737 Hensah.
Upon reaching this point in the proceedings, Magistrate Sahr Kekura advised the prosecutor to schedule a date for a proper consultation with her client.
The magistrate noted a gap in the witness’s testimony, as it did not clarify how the accused was taken to the police station. Assistant Superintendent of Police Osman Mohamed Bangura, the lead prosecutor, took over the case.
However, due to the lack of crucial information, the Bench had no choice but to adjourn the matter to May 16th, 2023, for further proceedings.
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