Head of Media and Communications of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) yesterday evening informed the Awareness Times that modalities are well in place for the destruction by burning of the much talked about cocaine exhibit which destruction will take place at 9:00GMT this morning at the Kingtom Dumping Site commonly known as ĎBomehí.
This is in line with the Tuesday 21st April 2009 48 hours order by the presiding Justice of the High Court No.1, Hon. Justice Nicholas Brown-Marke, whilst sentencing the fifteen suspects standing trial in the just ended cocaine matter.
According to Inspector Samura, the cocaine substance will be publicly displayed before it was set ablaze. Inspector Samura assured the public that the cocaine is still under safe custody and would surely be destroyed this morning. He called on members of the public, especially the press, to witness the event.
Meanwhile, a Press Release from the US Justice Department reveals that the three convicts were arraigned in America yesterday in front of Magistrate Andrew J. Peck whilst they would be arraigned today at 3:30pm New York time in front of High Court Judge, Justice Robert P. Patterson. They face life imprisonment if convicted in America. Lev L. Dassin, the Ag. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michele M. Leonhart, Ag. Administrator of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) hailed the deportation.
"This is the first transfer of defendants from Sierra Leone. We hope that the transfer of these defendants to American custody marks the beginning of a strong partnership between the United States and Sierra Leone in combating the international drug trade, which poses a serious threat to both countries." Mr. Dassin stated.
"History is made today, showing Sierra Leoneís growing commitment to capture global narco-traffickers who destroy lives with their deadly drugs," said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. "With hundreds of kilos of cocaine seized and convictions in Sierra Leone, the defendants will face American justice, on American soil, and receive the fate they deserve."
Mr. Dassin thanked Ambassador June Carter Perry and President Koroma for their vital roles.
The charges unsealed today were the result of the close cooperative work of the U.S. Attorneyís Office for the Southern District of New York, the DEA, the Department of Justiceís Office of International Affairs and the Department of State.
Lawyers Rebecca M. Ricigliano, Brendan R. McGuire and Anjan Sahni are in charge of the prosecution.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.