By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
The co-accused in the ongoing alleged sexual offence matter involving former presidential candidate Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray ,Marion Arouni has fulfilled her bail condition after an Appeals Court Judge in Sierra Leone had earlier granted her bail on 7th September 2021.
In a statement on Wednesday from the country’s judiciary said that Marion Arouni is standing trial for two counts of Conspiracy and Aiding and Abetting an allegations she denies.
‘’The Judiciary of Sierra Leone wishes to inform the general public that Marion Arouni, co-accused to Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray has fulfilled the requirements contained in the bail conditions,’’ the release reads.
The matter is presided over by one of the Appeal Court Judges, Hon. Justice Samuel O. Taylor.
According to the judiciary the co –accused bail conditions includes a sum of 100 Million Leones and two Sureties in like sum, one Surety who must be a house owner with property situated in the Western area of the country adding that it should produce an original Title Deed to the Master and Registrar of the court.
‘’Sureties should produce proof of Residence, ID Cards, Passport pictures, and the Accused person should deposit same to the Master and Registrar. She must report two times in a week to the Master and Registrar and sign the Attendance book reserved for this purpose. She must deposit to the Master and Registrar all travelling documents both foreign and national,’’ the statement from the judiciary said adding that pursuant to the above, the two Sureties Ali Kargbo and Osman Conteh met all the conditions after a thorough scrutiny and vetting to ensure total compliance.
The judiciary noted that contrary what was claimed on social media that senior court officials are not willing to the process of approving the bail conditions of both the defendants Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray and Marion Arouni stating that the Master and Registrar, is readily willing to process or approve accused persons admitted to Bail as long as the conditions contained in Judge’s Order are met.
‘’The Judiciary further wishes to inform the public that some months ago, it discovered 29 fake sureties with fake documents submitted to the Master and Registrar’s office. This act is not only criminal but also inimical to expeditious trials and the dispensation of Justice’’
Meanwhile many rights groups and civil society organizations have continually called on the judiciary to release Mr. Mansaray on bail over his poor health conditions.
Last August, the Consortium for Good Governance, Human Rights and Democracy (CGHRD), a coalition of rights groups in the country called the presiding judge to use ‘’his discretion judiciously and grant Mr. Mansaray bail’’ owing to his precarious and deteriorating health status.
“While CGHRD acknowledges the fact that the matter is “subjudice” and its merits cannot be discussed out of court, we wish to unequivocally state the following, that CGHRD fully appreciates the nature and sensitivity of the trial of alleged sexual penetration, CGHRD said in a statement.
Renown human rights lawyer Rashid Dumbuya of LEGAL LINK said that the length of time that the accused Mansaray has spent in detention over a bailable offence, coupled with the fact that he is currently unwell makes the action of the Master and Registrar not approving the bail condition of the former presidential candidate not only unjust but also a travesty to justice.
“Turning a blind eye on the deteriorating health condition of Kamarainba coupled with the endorse medical certificate corroborating same impute willful intent on the part of the Judiciary to deny Kamarainba a right to life. No doubt, there’s abundant and pregnant evidence before the court that shows that Kamarainba is not only unwell but in a deteriorating state,’’ Rashid told journalist in a press conference last month.
Meanwhile, the head of communications of the country’s judiciary Elkass Sannoh, however, refuted the claim by Legal Link stating that it is not true adding that if they are approached today with total compliance, the Master and Registrar will approve the bail.
“Kamarainba is not before us as a politician or Presidential Candidate. Like Hundreds of accused persons, he is before us as an accused person,’’ he said.
Elkass added that if the Judiciary or the Chief Justice wanted to intervene or had intervened, the Judge wouldn’t have granted bail but the said the Chief Justice believes the independence of the Court and the Judge adding the Chief Justice also believes in their discretion on every case before them.
Kamarainba is still in detention as his legal team has not fulfilled his bail conditions set by the country’s master and registrar.