On January 29, 2024, a significant event unfolded as Honourable Justice Amy Wright initiated proceedings for the January 2024 High Court Criminal calendar. The ‘call over’ encompassed fifty criminal cases, signifying a pivotal stage in the legal proceedings.
The purpose of the ‘call over’ was for the Presiding Judge to document the pleas of accused individuals either committed for trial by Magistrates’ Courts or whose indictments received written consent from a Judge. Pleas of guilt prompted the Presiding Judge to proceed with sentencing, while not guilty pleas led to the trial being adjourned to a specific date before an assigned Judge.
Seventy-one accused persons appeared before the High Court, facing charges ranging from murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, robbery with aggravation, larceny, house and office breaking, fraudulent conversion, wounding with intent, to unlawful possession of drugs.
Unlawful possession of drugs emerged as the predominant offense, with eleven cases involving sixteen accused persons topping the list. The remaining thirty-nine cases comprised charges of fraudulent conversion, larceny, murder, and no instances related to sexual penetration.
Idrissa Kamara and Mohamed Kamara, both individuals accused of house breaking and larceny, pleaded guilty, leading to their files being reserved for recording and subsequent sentencing. This development underscores the diverse array of criminal cases presented before the High Court during this session.
The High Court’s Criminal Session, occurring quarterly, provides accused individuals with an opportunity to have their cases heard. It assumes a crucial role in the legal system, ensuring a fair and comprehensive examination of charges brought against individuals. As the proceedings unfold, the High Court stands as a bastion of justice, facilitating due process for those entangled in the criminal justice system.