Sierra Leone-Police-Investigation

Why is Sierra Leone's judiciary talking tough

APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone)

The Judiciary of Sierra Leone has said it would not be intimidated in the course of its pursuit of justice in the face of attacks against its members.

The statement comes after two simultaneous attacks over the weekend against two female magistrates who had their offices forcefully entered into by unidentified people.

One of the incidents occurred in Freetown targeting Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of the Pademba Court Number One, and the other in the southern Bo district which targeted Magistrate Isata Sellu Tucker of Court Number One.

The incidents come just weeks after a similar break-in in the private residence of the lead judge in the ongoing Commissions of Inquiry investigating former government officials.

The Sierra Leone Police announced on Tuesday that they have instituted an investigation into the incidents which have raised questions about the motives of the culprits.

Both courts targeted in the latest incidents are reported to be currently presiding over highly charged political cases. 

The case in Freetown, which is under Magistrate Bonnie, involves 23 opposition politicians and their supporters who are being tried for involvement in riots in connection to a highly charged by election slated for next month.

In a statement, police spokesman Brima Kamara said three people are being questioned over the Freetown incident by detective from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

“Initial assessment of the scene points to constructive breaking,” he stated.

While the judiciary hasn’t said what exactly is behind these strings of attacks, it’s responses suggest it feels the attackers have a common motive.

“Whilst we are concerned, we are also of the view that nobody will subject us to fear,” said Moses Lamin, Public Relations Officer of the Judiciary.

According to Lamin, the Pademba Road court has postponed its seating until September, raising questions about the fate of the suspects who are in detention.


KC/as/APA

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