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  • Saturday, 25 May 2024

"IT Officer Presents Compelling CCTV Footage in Court During Trial of Pademba Road Prison Coup Attempt"

The ongoing Court Martial trial related to the attempted coup at Pademba Road Prison took a significant turn as Derick Teackham, an Information Technology Officer for the Sierra Leone Correctional Service, presented compelling CCTV footage in court on Friday, November 12th, 2024.


Teackham, who is stationed at Pademba Road prison despite working at the Ministry of Information, provided insights into his responsibilities, which include maintaining data, installing software, and analyzing CCTV footage. His tenure in this role dates back to 2020.


During his testimony, Teackham detailed his daily routine of checking the prison cameras to ensure they are operational, creating backups, and identifying footage relevant to security concerns for management review.


Specifically, on November 26th, 2023, following a management request, Teackham analyzed footage from Camera One, positioned outside the prison's main gate. He later presented a copy of this footage on a flash drive as evidence to the court.


The footage revealed startling scenes of the accused and other attackers brandishing RPGs and AK-47s, along with a military vehicle repeatedly ramming the prison gate in a desperate attempt to breach it.


Teackham confirmed that the recordings were captured on November 26th, 2023, around 8:00 AM and stored on an external hard drive. Additionally, he explained the presence of two other functional cameras—one inside the prison yard entrance and another facing Dworzark.


The court proceeded to review footage from Camera Two, showing the prison yard engulfed in tear gas, with smoke billowing from the ground to the building's rooftop. Teackham further testified that while reviewing Camera One footage, he observed individuals in OSD uniforms firing tear gas into the prison yard.


All footage obtained on November 26th, 2023, was meticulously saved on flash drives and an external hard drive, as confirmed by Teackham's closing statement.


In response to the presented evidence, the defense attorney representing the 12th and 17th accused, Lawyer Charlie Israel Williams, requested a delay in cross-examination. He cited the need to thoroughly examine the evidence before questioning the witness, a request the court granted.


The proceedings shed light on the chaotic events during the attempted coup, underscoring the importance of technological evidence in legal proceedings and the meticulous work of individuals like Derick Teackham in ensuring justice is served.


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