Friday July 22, 2005
Tamba Borbor reports from Freetown
Judgment has been deferred in the case of the former Special Court employee; Peter Halloran whose appeal hearing was slated for final judgment at the Appeal Court, presided over by Sir. John Muria, Justices Abel Stronge and Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh yesterday.
The judgment was deferred after COCORIOKO learnt that one of the three judges; Justice Abel Strong failed to appear in court. It was understood that Justice Stronge had been served notice to proceed on vacation, which would last for two months. The two other judges waited for his arrival to no avail. Counsel Brown Marke and A.K.A. Barber were summoned into the chambers of Justice Sir. John Muria where the matter was adjourned indefinitely.
The former head of Victoria’s homicide squad in Melbourne, Australia appealed against a child sex conviction slammed against him on February 21 at the Freetown High Court. Justice Samuel Ademusu, who convicted him of sexual assault, acquitted him of three other charges. His legal counsel, Nicholas Brown-Marke appealed against the sexual conviction citing wrong decisions in law by the trial judge, misdirection in law and fact coupled with the sentence. Lawyer Brown-Marke during his arguments before the three judges- Sir. John Muria, Abel Strong and Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh cited that the sentence of 18 months imprisonment on the appellant was manifestly excessive, being a first time offender.
During his almost two hours arguments, Counsel Brown-Marke cited that the trial judge erred in law and in fact in failing to exercise the discretion given to him by Section 231 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1965, namely to impose a fine on the appellant, instead of a term of imprisonment. Countering his argument for the State was Lawyer A.K.A. Barber who emphasized that the trial judge did not err in law in convicting the accused.
TAMBA BORBOR WORKS FOR BOTH AWOKO AND COCORIOKO