Sierra Leone Telegraph: 04 June 2020:
Last Friday, 29 May, she was out on bail amidst jubilation from family and friends. But yesterday, she was rearrested and sent to prison detention for allegedly breaching court’s ‘sub-judice’ rules.
Sub-judice rules make it illegal for anyone involved in a trial to comment publicly about the case in question. Supporters of Dr Blyden say that she has not broken any rules, as she did not comment on the case itself.
“Dr Blyden has done nothing wrong. She was rearrested after posting several messages on social media about her inhumane treatment in detention, as well as her strong criticisms of the Bio-led government, which was the reason she was arrested a month ago in the first place – exercising her human rights and civil liberty,” a source close to the family told the Sierra Leone Telegraph.
After spending over three weeks in police detention without charge, Dr Blyden was charged to court last week to answer to a ten-counts charge – ranging from seditious libel against the president to perverting the course of justice.
Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden was last Friday released on very stiff bail terms and conditions, set by Magistrate Hannah Bonnie, including the presentation of two sureties who are property owners in the Western Area of Sierra Leone – with each property valued at 500 million Leones (about $50,000); and for each surety to produce their passport, the conveyance document and valuation certificate of their property.
Appearing in court yesterday, state counsel requested that Magistrate Hannah Bonnie should revoke Dr Blyden’s bail, based on what he said was Dr Blyden’s violation of the court’s sub-judice rules – posting messages about the case on social media, an allegation she denies.
It is not clear whether her lawyers will now seek further appeal for bail and on what terms. The case continues.