Paolo’s Bail Application Refused

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By Feima Sesay

The appeal court of Sierra Leone has last Friday 14 August refused the application for bail for former minister of Defense and Internal Affairs Alfred Paolo Conteh that was made by the Appellant applicant Lawyer Dr Abdulai O.Conteh.

It could be recalled that before this ruling, the Appellant applicant filed a notice of motion dated 14 July 2020, seeking orders that the court does grant bail to Major Rtd Alfred Paolo Conteh the applicant herein pending the hearing and determination of his appeal to the appeal court according to section 67 subsection 2 of the court Act No31 of 1965.

The application was supported by an affidavit of the Appellant with four exhibits attached to that. The said exhibits include Exhibits APC 1 which is a copy of the magistrate court charge sheet during the preliminary investigation, APC 2 a copy of an indictment dated 31 May 2020, APC 3 a copy of the conviction certificate which is updated and is signed by the master and registrar of the high court and exhibit APC 4 is a copy of the notice of appeal file against the aforementioned conviction and sentence. 

The presiding judge, Justice Ivan Ansumana Sesay whiles he was reading the summary of the Appellant application stated that the Appellant solicitor Dr Abdulai O Conteh relied on the entire affidavits and argued that the two grounds that formed the basis of the appeal are summary offences and explained further that the Appellant was a first-time offender and had reasonable grounds and a reasonable prospect of success. He continues that the said application for bail for the Appellant applicant was opposed to by the Respondent (state) with an affidavit swore to dated 28 July 2020.  Justice Ivan Sesay whiles reading the affidavit in opposition by the Respondent said that the respondent argued that if the Appealant applicant is to succeed, he must show that unusual/ exceptional circumstance exists. He said the responded further advance that the applicant has served 5 months out of 24 months, does not mean that he has served a substantial portion of his sentence to warrant

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