13 Makeni generator youth protesters have spent 45 days in jail

Youths Killed

“A plea for bail was again denied by the court and the matter adjourned to September 10th

Thirteen (13) Makeni youths facing trial over the Makeni generator protest appeared in court on Thursday September 3 in Freetown. They are facing seven counts of malicious damage, disorderly behavior, conspiracy to commit a felony, carrying offensive weapons, riotous conduct, and throwing missiles.

During their first appearance on 18th August, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to all counts, and the matter was committed to trial. 

The family of the 13th accused, Mohamed Kargbo, presented to the Court his birth certificate which indicated that the accused turned 14 on August 12th this year. The date on the birth certificate suggests that at the time of the incident and his subsequent arrest, Mohamed Kargbo was 13 years some months old, hence a minor.

The Lead Defense Counsel, Wara Serry-Kamal applied for him to be discharged because he was below the age of 14, and pursuant to Cap 44 Section 70 of the Child Right Act of 2007, he was “doli incapax” (deemed incapable of forming the intent to commit a crime or tort, especially by reason of age), and could not be liable.

In response, the Court expressed doubts on the birth certificate due to the delay and requested for further evidence to establish the facts of Mohamed’s age. The Magistrate further ordered the police doctor to examine Mohamed Kargbo to determine his age. He said the medical examination should be conducted before the next Court hearing scheduled for 10th September 2020. 

Defence Counsel renewed its application for bail to be granted to all 13 accused persons, but the Court declined again. The accused were remanded to Pademba road prisons until their next appearance on the 10th. 

The Makeni generator protest left six youths dead. The youths were killed allegedly by security officials. Medical reports said they died of bullet wounds. The 13 accused have been in detention for 45 days now. 

13 Makeni generator youth protesters have spent 45 days in jail
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