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Paolo Conteh Charged with Treason

By Augustine James

Major (Rtd) Paolo Conteh and 2 others have appeared before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of magistrate court No. 1 on 16 Count Charges ranging from treason, possession of unlicensed arm and importation of small arms, all against the laws of Sierra Leone.

According to the charge sheet, Rtd Major Paolo Conteh, on 19TH March 2020,  went into State House to assassinate the president at State House whiles in possession of a loaded gun. He was also charged with possession of a small arm without license and registration of a small arm without following due process.

Representing the state, 5 Legal representatives headed by Adrian Fisher, mentioned to the Magistrate that there has been a written statement from the Attorney General for prosecution of the matter in which the Magistrate admitted to have a copy to which the defense team said they have no copy of such documents. Ady Macauly objected and applied that the defense team be served with the Attorney General’s letter.

In an examination led by Adrian Fisher, Detective Sergeant B.A. Gaima 4645, attached at State House as presidential guard force stated that, he recognized the first accused person and on the 19th March 2020, the first accused person, Alfred Paolo Conteh went to statehouse on invitation and tried to go against security protocols. He said they stopped him and only that he admitted he has a weapon in a small brown bag he was carrying.

Upon searching the content of the bag, he was already in the office of the president. They called the CID and reported the matter for investigation.

Ady Macauly leading 20 lawyers in the defense team, in a cross examination, Gaima told the court that people are aware that arms are not allowed in the premises of statehouse, he said he went through a VIP training and was certified.

Magistrate Hannah Bonnie ordered for all accused persons to have access to their legal representatives on Mondays and Thursdays.

The matter has been adjourned to 3rd April 2020 with no bail for all accused persons.

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