Former Sierra Leone president charged with attempted coup

Former Sierra Leone president charged with attempted coup

Ernest Bai Koroma, who was in power in Sierra Leone between 2007 and 2018, was charged with four counts, including treason, for his alleged role in the November 26 uprising in which a group of men attacked an army barracks Thousands out of prison.

First change: March 1, 2024 – 9:59 p.m. Last change: March 1, 2024 – 10:00 p.m

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Amadu Koita, a former soldier and member of Koroma's personal security detail, was also arraigned in a Freetown court and accused of orchestrating the attack on Wilberforce barracks, the most important in the country.

“The Republic of Sierra Leone on Tuesday indicted Amadu Koita and 11 others, including former police and prison officials, for their roles in the failed November 26 coup,” Information Minister Chernor Bah announced in a statement.

Ten of the other 11 defendants also appeared in court, while the other defendant will do so on January 9 as he is currently recovering in a hospital from an alleged illness. However, the names of none of them have been revealed.

The arrests will continue

Koita, a well-known critic of the government on social media, was arrested just over a week after an attempted coup that authorities described as “clear and unequivocal.” He was shown sitting on a wooden chair, with partially shaved and damaged hair and swollen eyes.

For his part, Koroma was also present at the arraignment on Wednesday, while several of his supporters wept at the back of the courtroom. The charge of treason is punishable by life imprisonment under Sierra Leonean law.

The former president was called to testify in early December in connection with the alleged assassination attempt in which 20 people lost their lives and 2,200 inmates were released from prison.

Information Minister Bah announced that charges would be brought against more people in the coming days.

process in doubt

The events of November 26 were initially interpreted as a reaction to the disputed results of the June 24 elections, in which Julius Maada Bio was declared the winner for a second term with 56.17% of the vote, while the opposition showed doubts about cleanliness of the process.

However, the subsequent uprising was condemned by the European Union, the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United States and the United Kingdom, among others, and opposition leader Samura Kamara supported the actions of the recently taken over government in the failed attempt oppose.

With Portal and EFE