Sierra Leone charges ex-President Koroma with treason over failed coup

3 months ago 36

The charges against erstwhile person Ernest Bai Koroma besides see misprision of treason and 2 counts of harbouring.

Published On 3 Jan 2024

Sierra Leone’s ex-President Ernest Bai Koroma has been charged with 4 offences including treason for his alleged relation successful a failed subject effort to topple the West African country’s authorities successful November, a tribunal successful the superior Freetown has said.

The court’s determination connected Wednesday could escalate tensions successful the state coming aft the attempted coup and a contentious predetermination successful which President Julius Maada Bio was re-elected for a second word successful June 2023.

Frictions person been connected the emergence successful the country, which is inactive recovering from a 1991-2002 civilian warfare that killed much than 50,000 people.

The effect of the predetermination was rejected by the main absorption candidate, and questioned by planetary partners including the United States and the European Union.

Gunmen connected November 26 attacked subject barracks, a situation and different locations successful Sierra Leone, freeing astir 2,200 inmates and sidesplitting much than 20 people.

The authorities said aboriginal that it was a foiled coup led mostly by Koroma’s bodyguards. They summoned the ex-president for questioning astatine the commencement of December.

The erstwhile president condemned the attacks successful a connection soon aft they happened.

Koroma’s charges, which besides see misprision of treason and 2 counts of harbouring, were work retired portion helium stood successful the dock and immoderate of his supporters cried successful the courtroom.

“A unsafe precedent has been acceptable … We are dragging a erstwhile caput of authorities – democratically elected – connected trumped up charges nether a governmental vendetta,” Koroma’s lawyer, Joseph Kamara, told the Reuters quality agency.

A precocious tribunal aboriginal connected Wednesday granted bail to the erstwhile president, who is presently restricted astatine his location successful the capital. The lawsuit was adjourned until January 17.

According to Sierra Leone’s penal code, a idiosyncratic recovered blameworthy of treason could look imprisonment for life.

Earlier connected Wednesday, the authorities said authorities person charged 12 different people, including a subordinate of Koroma’s information detail, with treason successful transportation with the failed coup.

The accused were arraigned earlier a magistrate successful Freetown connected Tuesday, the Ministry of Information and Communication said successful a statement, adding that they included ex-police and correctional officers.

One of those charged was Amadu Koita, a erstwhile worker and bodyguard of Koroma. Koita was wide followed connected societal networks wherever helium criticised Bio’s government.

Neither Koita nor his ineligible typical person commented connected the charges.

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