Election Skirmishes: Former Mayor, Herbert George Williams Faces assault charges

It takes a little while for charges to be proffered in an assault case involving the former Mayor of the Freetown City Council, Herbert George Williams, who stood accused of assaulting a newspaper journalist Patrick Jaiah Kamara of Concord Times.
The former Mayor has made appearance before Magistrate Santigie Bangura at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 for an alleged assault on the said journalist.
Williams, who doubles as the Western Area Regional Organising Secretary of the main opposition All People’s Congress party (APC), faces three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony to wit, assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to Section 47 of the Offences against the Persons Act 1861, and Malicious Damage contrary to Section 51 of the Malicious Damage Act, 1861.
The accused on March 31st, 2018, is said to have conspired with other unknown persons at Mafa field in Lumley to assault the young journalist.
In count three, the accused also allegedly damaged a Canon EOS 70D camera that was in the possession of the journalist.
In his bail application on behalf of the accused, Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya, who led a battery of APC lawyers, started off by slamming the police for what he described as ‘bad charges’ especially on count one.
Although Superintendent John Sesay had earlier informed the complainant that the accused person was arrested on warrant, Dumbuya told the court that the accused had cooperated with the police throughout the investigation.
He said the accused is a ‘senior’ citizen and a former mayor of the Freetown Municipality, and that if granted bail, he won’t jump it. He noted that the accused would always avail himself to answer the charges.
Meanwhile, Police Prosecutor Inspector Isatu Gbassay Fofanah did not object to the bail application made by lawyer Lansana Dumbuya.
“Since we are not averse to bail, but we want to draw the attention of the Bench to count one which is conspiracy. We know the accused is a senior citizen and that we presume he will not interfere with the prosecution witnesses,” she said.
In his statement, Magistrate Bangura remarked that, “I presume the accused being a senior citizen would not interfere with the prosecution witnesses. I presume he would not jeopardise that status.”
He accused was granted bail in the sum of Le25 million plus one surety. The magistrate admonished the accused not to tamper with prosecution witnesses pending the outcome of the matter.
The matter would come up again on Friday, 8 June for the prosecution to open its case
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Abu Bakarr Tarawally is a Journalist based in Freetown. He works for the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation as a radio producer. He has once served as Editor for a few newspapers in Freetown, including Sierra Express Media, The Exclusive Newspaper and his own newspaper, the Daily Express Publications. He is a teacher trainer, and loves writing and reading a lot. Email: abstarawally@gmail.com. Call +232 88601277 or +2327661303.


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