The year-long treason trial of Sierra Leone's former Army Chief of Staff David Lasona and 14 others was resumed in Freetown on Monday, February 9th.
Courthouse; accused stepping down from trucks and entering courthouse.
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Background: The year-long treason trial of Sierra Leone's former Army Chief of Staff David Lasona and 14 others was resumed in Freetown on Monday, February 9th. All face the death penalty if found guilty to the charges rising out of the March 1967 military takeover.
Among those on trial are former Commissioner of Police William Leigh and former Deputy Force Commander of the Army Augustins Charles Black.
Brigadier Lasana seized power after the general elections of March 21st, 1967; placed Governor-General Sir Henry Lightfoot Boston under house arrest; arrested outgoing Prime Minister Sir Albert Mangai and newly-elected Premier Siaka Stevens; and declared Martial Law.
Two days later, Brigadier Lasana himself was overthrown and arrested by another group of officers. When civilian law was eventually restored in April 1968, Dr. Stevens was re-instated as Prime Minister.
The trial of the fifteen accused began on February 4th, 1969, and has suffered several postponements. At this week's resumption of the trial, under Mr. Justice Okoro Cole, the prosecution will bring 3,000 pages of evidence to support the various treason charges - to which the fifteen men have pleaded not guilty.