Lead defense counsel Lansana Dumbuya on Wednesday 15th July 2020, further cross-examined Paramount Chief Koblo Queen II, the first prosecution witness in the matter between him and 31 individuals, who are mostly his subjects. The accused persons were arraigned before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie at the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1 on Pademba Road after police alleged that they murdered PC Koblo Queen’s nephew and destroyed his property valued at over Le 1 billion.
The accused persons are facing 14 counts charges ranging from conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit a felony, malicious damage, riotous conduct, throwing missiles, among others. Lawyer Dumbuya, who was representing the 14th accused person – Honorable Osman Karankay Conteh, argued that his client was not present at the scene of crime but showed up later with the Local Unit Commander of Port Loko District, adding that the PC had called on Conteh to help him at his residence on the day of the alleged incident, but that he’d failed to show up, alleging that was why the PC had issues with his client.
As he had earlier said, the PC maintained that the 14th accused was part of those who’d attacked him at his residence and destroyed his properties. Lawyer Dumbuya told the court of a bad blood between the PC and his client – ever since his client was an MP, adding that the PC had severally accused his client of crimes he never committed. He said the PC had once accused him of riotous conduct, for which he was arrested and locked up, but was later discharged after they found no case against him.
Meanwhile, the PC conceded that there is bad blood between them, because Honourable Conteh was allegedly a lead protester in Lunsar Town. He disclosed that the 14th accused had one time led a group of protesters who shut down a machine belonging to London Mining valued at over $200 million. Lawyer Dumbuya further accused the PC of having collected money from London Mining in public on the advice of Honourable Conteh, which makes him bitter with Conteh. The PC disclosed that the money he’d received was a small amount and had no issues with the company giving him money in public.
Three more witnesses came to court but couldn’t testify because lawyers representing other accused persons were absent. Magistrate Hannah Bonnie adjourned the matter to 22nd July 2020 at 1pm.
By Sulaiman Karim Sesay