Fifteen men, including two former Cabinet Ministers, appeared in court in the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, on Tuesday (10 September) on a two-count charge of treason.
GV EXT Law court building
GV Accused led from court building and into jeep
SV Accused into jeep
SV Vehicles wait to leave for central prison
SV Crowd and security men look on
SV Vehicles leave prison
Initials BB/1952 CG/JB/BB/2000
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Background: Fifteen men, including two former Cabinet Ministers, appeared in court in the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, on Tuesday (10 September) on a two-count charge of treason.
The men are alleged to have plotted to assassinate the Vice-President and Prime Minister, Mr. S.I. Koroma who was then Acting President, the Acting Vice-President and Prime Minister, Mr. Kamara-Taylor and the Force Commander, Brigadier J. Momoh. According to the prosecution, the plot resulted in an attempt at down on 30 July to assassinate Mr. Kamara-Taylor by blowing up his official residence with explosives. Mr. Kamara-Taylor is now Finance Minister.
Indictments against the accused also allego their plot involved taking over the magazine at Tower Hill and Sierra Leone External Telecommunications, SLET.
Several of the accused have held high ranking positions in Sierra Leons. Both Dr. Mohamed Foina and Ibrahim Taqi have served as Cabinet Ministers. Among the other thirteen is a former Brigadier, and a former Paramount Chief.
Security for the hearing has been strict, and several security men could be seen among the crowd that gathered outside the High Court on Tuesday.
An early application by the defence for an adjournment to allow more time for the accused to brief their defence council was refused by the Judge. After lunch the leading defence counsel said he as withdrawing from the case because of difficulties in preparing the case for the accuse. His submission was adopted by the four other defence counsel, but it was refused by the Judge.
He described a defence counsel application for a week's adjournment as a deliberate design to delay the proceedings, and instead, confirmed an earlier order for defence counsel to have reasonable access to interview the accused. The court was adjourned until Thursday (12 September).