Dr Sylvia Blyden’s contempt of court hearing quashed

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 July 2020:

The sacking of the former Attorney General of Sierra Leone – Dr Priscilla Schwartz, has brought into sharp focus, many of the mistakes she made as minister of justice responsible for advising the government, as well as deciding which crimes allegedly committed against the State should be sent to court for  trial.

One such case is the Palo Conteh treason allegation that was unanimously thrown out by the Jury at the High Court in Freetown last month, which should never have gone to court given the remarkable absence of evidence.

Another high profile case, is that involving Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, sponsored by the sacked Attorney General that similarly should never have gone to the courts.

The charges brought against Dr Blyden ranged from ‘seditious libel against the president’, cyber-crimes, and latterly – contempt of court.

As a result of these allegations, Dr Blyden served over 50 days at the Pademba Road prison, whilst the Attorney General searched for evidence to corroborate her allegations without success.

After appearing at both the Magistrate Court and the High Court for the past few weeks, yesterday Dr Blyden’s contempt of court hearing was thrown out by the Judge for lack of evidence.

Commenting on her acquittal, Dr Blyden said:  “These photos were taken shortly after my brilliant and erudite lawyer, Charles Francis Margai Esq., successfully argued the Law in my favour and the judge, the Honourable Mr. Ivan Sesay JA, totally agrees with my lawyer and throws out the State’s case against me at the High Court.

“Thanking God for successful proceedings this morning at the High Court.  The other matter at the Magistrate Court continues and is slated for next week. I remain to be a blessed Child of God – giving all my glory to the Almighty.”

Supporters of Dr Blyden will be delighted at this new development, as they look forward to similar acquittal by the magistrate when her hearing resumes next week, especially after the country’s parliament yesterday repealed Part 5 of the 1965 Public Order Act which criminalises libel as a seditious crime against the State.

6 Comments

  1. Finally humility and patriotism has paid off. Thanks to our former Attorney General Priscilla Schwartz and Magistrate Hannah Bonnie for bringing Slyvia Blyden to her knees by demanding that she tender the patriotic letter of apology to the people of Sierra Leone for her unpatriotic behaviors. I hope she is back to her senses that she is incapable of representing herself in court and she is not above the law.

    She has already enjoyed the benefit of the criminal libel law (by spending 50 days in jail) which she wholeheartedly supported during the 11 years of the APC misrule when Dr. David Tam – Bayoh and Philip Neville were arrested and prosecuted. Finally, I hope that Paola Conteh will learn a lesson from the 2 years sentence from the jurors that it is illegal to take a loaded gun to State House.

  2. Strange is not? Men who used to be shady car salesmen are now fully in control of the treasuries of our poor little country? Now these shady characters are at it again,digging and hiding their stupidities and incompetence by blaming it on a wee little innocent lady that they arm-twisted into doing all the wrong and lawless things.Someone once said,”A dwarf always observes the world from his own self imposed height”.

    Those words are very true.Out of nowhere in our Sierra Leone a dwarf has come like a sudden heavy nasty downpour of rain,like an irritating annoying boil on the neck,harassing and tormenting our peace-loving people.

  3. Oh, poor sacked former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dr Priscilla Schwartz. What a problem. Even when you are out of the dictators den, which you were a very staunch advocate of, they continue to throw the punchbags at you. SAD eh? This is what happens when you join the Bio SLPP kakistocracy without a political base anywhere in the country. The moment you are chased out of the dictator’s den, your political career ends. Sorry, no constituency available.

    But, don’t worry poor sacked former Attorney General and Minister of Justice. You are not alone. The Bio SLPP kakistocracy has loads of lightweight politicians who have no political basses. Don’t be surprised for the next punchbags in the making. You will be blamed for all the judicial woes of the Bio SLPP kakistocracy, since the Bio SLPP kakistocracy came to power in 2018. The blame game now is, either Dr Priscilla Schwartz or the APC. Finally, the only thing I could help you with, is to ask God to help you. God bless the sacked former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dr Priscilla Schwartz.

  4. Gradually as time progressesd, the nefarious activities of the PAOPA extremist faction of the SLPP whose agenda is solely to divide and conquer our once peaceful nation are being expose. For almost 2 and half years now, instead of formulating developmental policies that will coalesce our diverse regions and political parties, they chose to infringe on citizens freedom of expression and the constitutionally enshrined rights to protest. With the 11years brutal civil war purported to have been invoked by the misrule and dictatorial tendencies of Siaka Steven’s presidency just at our rear view, who will ever envisage a complete replication or worst to have been taking place in this modern 21st century under the current PAOPA regime?

    For the past 2 years and counting, if citizens are not being arrested, torture for being critical of the government, they are being obliterated by live bullets, all under the flimsy guise of incitements. For 2 decades, both president Kabbah and Koroma faced dissidents and citizens critical of their governance style. Citizens from all sides of the spectrum used diverse means to criticize former regimes, with local artists composing revolutionary/nationalistic songs, while others used both the print media and radio waves to register their disgust about the governance system. While regime officials of past government were mostly unhappy about the barrage of criticism directed at them, we hardly ever heard the word ‘INCITEMENT’ being used to subdue or harass citizens.

    Today anyone who calls the PAOPA regime to question is label as an inciter, hence, must be arrested, tortured or worst get mow down by live bullets. In the midst of the current dark cloud overhanging above our beloved nation, we are at least grateful that, gradually, those that have planned to plunge our nation into another civil unrest are being exposed one by one as they put into action their evil plans. By the grace of God, our nation will continue to muster courage and will eventually triumph.

  5. To be honest you can’t fault the former Attorney General Priscilla Schwartz to be placed in a position to do the bidding of the president, and his fanatical advisers.She was hemmed in from what she can do from the word go. Without political intervention she would have done a better job. You have to be in the mad house of state house to know the feeling. Its like the lunatic have taken over the asylum. In their conspiracy world view, you either subscribed to their idea of how Sierra Leone should be governed or risk being a guest of honour at hotel Pademba road prison. They believe Dr Blyden and others are working on an agenda to make Sierra Leone ungovernable.

    We have to cast our minds back, when all these arrests took place, was in the wake of the riots in Tombo, Lunsar, Pademba road, and resident minister Abu Abu Kamara going on public record saying he will kill youths and go after their families.But his incitement of violence only landed him a promotion. Whilst others expressed less outrage were hunted down and locked up.

    Once again this was the unfortunate period President Bio went on national television and branded his opponent “TERRORIST AND IAM GOING TO CRACK DOWN HARD ON THEM.” So the prosecution team and the overzealous Sierra Leone police went into an overdrive to please the new pharoh of Sierra Leone. Thank goodness for her acquittal. But remember the thugs are after you. This for them is a minor set back. They are back to the drawing board. You are a threat for being the voice of the voiceless. May God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone.

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