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NEWS : Local News  

Observers Shed Tears With Magistrate Fisher in Sierra Leone
By Vidal Boltman
Feb 24, 2009, 17:34
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A scene of grief yesterday Monday 23rd February 2009 griped scores of people present at the High Court in Freetown when Magistrate Adrian Joscelyn Fisher broke down in tears alongside relatives and friends of his including his mother and wife, during a court session. Many of those present who were in the Court on matters not related to Fisher, were also seen openly wiping away tears as they expressed sympathy for the plight in which Fisher found himself.

The sorrowful scene occurred while the 85 count charges against the Bursar of the Saint Josephs Convent were being read in court. This occurrence attracted the attention of all present during the proceedings, as Fisher wept uncontrollably in full view of observers; a situation in which a senior human rights lawyer, Melron Nicol Wilson Esq. had to intervene by civilly escorting the Magistrate out of the court room.

Nicol-Wilson was later overheard consoling Fisher whilst Fishers devoted wife, Doris also held his hands as she also shed some tears. Fishers mother who was seated next to this reporter also wiped away tears from her eyes as the weeping Adrian Fisher explained to those consoling him that he was crying as a result of the thoughts of what the public would be thinking about him at this moment as well as the embarrassment the course of the trial might bring to his hard earned reputation.

Fisher was overheard protesting his innocence in bitter tears whilst expressing concern that a trial of such nature will present him to the general public as a corrupt official.

However, when this reporter sounded the opinions of people present both inside and out of the jam-packed courtroom, it came out clearly that Magistrate Fisher is still a highly respected personality, as virtually everyone expressed opinions in his favour.

Storming the High Court yesterday to defend corrupt charges brought against Magistrate Fisher was a battery of lawyers from the Bar, including J.B. Jenkins Johnston (Snr.) Esq., Akie K.A Barber Esq., Crispin Fio Edwards Esq., Melron Nicol Wilson Esq, Easmon Ngakui Esq., Hon. Nye Cuffie Esq., Elvis Kargbo Esq. and Leon Jenkins Johnston (Jnr.) Esq. The Anti Corruption Commission which is prosecuting the matter was represented by Ansu B. Ansu Lansana Esq.

It could be recalled that Magistrate Fisher was yesterday arraigned before Justice Mary Sei to answer to twenty-two (22) counts corruption-related charges believed to have been committed at the Magistrate Court in Bo City.

The particulars of offence state among other things that the accused person misappropriated government funds, thereby willfully depriving the Government of Sierra Leone to benefit from what it deserves; that the accused on diverse dates levied fines on convicted persons but there was a discrepancy between what he pronounced in court and what he wrote down in his notes only for him to later misappropriate the difference when the fines were paid.

An additional two (2) count corruption related charges were also brought against Magistrate Fisher in the same court. The charges alleged that Magistrate Fisher solicited and later obtained hundreds of United States Dollars from one Josephine Thompson Power, in order for the Magistrate to return her passport, which was among the documents surrendered to the courts as a condition for her bail.

Hon. Justice Mary Sei, in her wisdom, granted Magistrate Fisher bail in the sum of (Le 15,000,000 (Fifteen Million Leones) with two sureties in like sum who should be property owners resident in the Western Area.

The matter was adjourned to 27th February 2009 when the learned High Court Judge will pronounce her ruling on a preliminary objection raised by Fishers lawyers who want Attorney General Serry Kamals application for trial by Judge alone to be over-ruled. Fishers lawyers told this reporter that they want Fisher to be tried by a twelve man jury of his peers.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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