By Feima Sesay
A High Court in Freetown has yesterday, 5th August, 2020 granted bail to Ex- Mayor of the Freetown City Council, Herbert George Williams; a year after he had been in prison on murder charges and others.
Mr Williams, a strong man of the main Opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) was released together with another APC strong man, Abubakarr Daramy.
Both men have been accused of having hands in the death of a local journalist, Ibrahim Samura who was alleged to have been beaten by a group of APC supporters during the 2018 general elections in the country.
State prosecutors have alleged that the two men masterminded the beating of the Editor of the New Age newspaper that led to his death months after.
The Judge, Justice Cosmotina Jarret while issuing the bail conditions ordered that if Daramy and Williams failed to appear in court on the next adjourned date, their properties would be confiscated to the State.
Her statement came after lawyers representing both accused persons had successfully made their applications for bail.
The bail conditions, Justice Jarret said should be in what she described as ‘’in their own recognition in the sum of Le500 million’’ but noted that each person should provide properties worth the Le500 million each plus a valuation certificates of the properties that should be tendered to the Master and Registrar of Court.
The Judge also ordered that each accused should surrender all their travel documents to the Master and Registrar.
Justice Jarret further said that if the accused persons do not meet the bail conditions in their own recognition; two sureties each should stand in their recognizance and the sureties should also have properties and machinery worth Le500 million each and they should also submit a conveyance.
Justice Jarret explained that she granted the accused bail because they are presumed innocent until the matter is proven otherwise.
According to her, she granted them bail because the Bail Regulation of 2018 guaranteed them the right and also because the State lawyers failed to file and properly submitted the affidavit.
Earlier, while making his bail application, lawyer Melron Nicole Wilson representing the first accused (Abubakarr Daramy) said his client will not interfere with the Prosecution Witnesses.
“My client has a strong community task as he has a family to take care of and he will not in any way jump bail and put his family name in disrepute. The first accused is entitled to the presumption of innocence and he has been incarcerated for almost twelve months,” he appealed.
Lawyer Alpha Jalloh, who represented the second accused (Herbert George Williams) adopted the bail application made by Nicol Wilson.
He told the court that his client is a preacher and a former Mayor of the Freetown City Council and has also been incarcerated for over 12 months. “When he was first arrested, he was vibrant and strong but now he cannot even walk. If he is granted bail, he will seek proper medical attention and will be ready to face his trial,” he told the Court.
Both accused persons are standing on two counts of murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. It is alleged that the accused on March 31, 2018, at Lumley in Freetown murdered the late Managing Editor of New Age newspaper, Ibrahim Samura.
The matter was adjourned to Wednesday, August 19, 2020.