Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 August 2020:
High Court Judge – Justice Cosmotina Jarrett, yesterday granted bail to the former Freetown City Council Mayor – Mr. Herbert George Williams and Mr. Abu Bakarr Daramy.
Human Rights Lawyer – Melron Nicole-Wilson secured their bail, after both Williams and Daramy had spent several months in detention, accused of murder, following the death of a local journalist during an election campaign.
It is alleged that both accused were involved in beating the journalist, who weeks later died. But defence lawyers argue that at the time of the alleged incident, the deceased had serious pre-existing health conditions, and did not die of injuries sustained from an alleged violent confrontation.
Bail requests had previously been denied by the State, and for a Judge to now decide to grant bail suggests that the prosecution’s case is either weak or the evidence is seriously flawed, thus making it unsafe to continue to hold the accused in detention.
Justice Jarret was confident in granting self-bail which means that the accused did not have to provide sureties to sign on their behalf.
Both Williams (Photo) and Daramy are members of the main opposition All People’s Congress Party (APC) which narrowly lost the elections held in March 2018.
Since the sacking of former Attorney General and minister of Justice – Priscilla Schwartz and the appointment of the highly experienced and well respected Barrister – Anthony Brewah, there has been a gradual, though slow-paced change in the SLPP government’s attitude towards opposition politicians accused of wrongdoing by the government.
Brewah is characterised by many as quiet and friendly in disposition with a ready smile. He started his early career as a secondary school teacher after graduating from Njala University, south of the country. He taught for several years and later went to Fourah Bay College in Freetown where he studied Law. He is one of the earliest products of the FBC Law department set up in the late 1980s.
Anthony Brewah (Photo) who hails from Taiama, Moyamba district, southern Sierra Leone, is the proprietor of and until his appointment as Attorney General – a senior lawyer at Brewah and Co Chambers.
Despite his easy-going manner and disposition, he is said to be highly principled and can be tough if necessary. He is also regarded as one of Sierra Leone’s most experienced lawyers with a profound knowledge of the country’s legal system.
With this appointment as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Brewah is thought to have stepped into the shoes of his late uncle Luseni Brewah who was Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the early 1970s.
It is now hoped that this gradual cooling of political temperature could help release some of the political tension in the country and promote national cohesion.
But in another related development yesterday, it was also reported that the former defence minister – Retired Major Palo Conteh, who was cleared a few months ago of treason by a jury at the High Court but found guilty of unlawfully possessing guns, was once again denied bail at a separate court hearing.
Palo Conteh remains in detention as his trial continues at the Appeals Court in Freetown, after his lawyers launched an appeal against the two-counts charge for which he was found guilty at his treason trial.
The case involving former Freetown Mayor Herbert George Williams and Abu Bakarr Daramy continues, after both were granted bail yesterday.