Thursday, November 29, 2007

29 rioters freed, 13 in court

Chief Superintendent of Police, Philip Wellington, who is also Local Unit Commander of the Kissy Police Station in the capital Freetown, oversee the release on Wednesday morning of 29 suspects held since last Friday while 13 others made their way to Freetown Magistrate court following rioting by students of the Muslim Congress Secondary School in Freetown.

Freetown court

The 13 were brought to court under very heavy escort with armed personnel from the Police Operational Support Division (OSD) providing security. Three of the badly wounded police officers who will testify as witnesses for the prosecution, also joined the convey yesterday.
Some of the exhibits in police custody include a school blackboard were the students had inscribed “War to War – Students Vs Police on Monday. Don’t Touch.”
Another is a motor bike from which the police claim, petrol was removed to set fire on a newly bought Toyota Dyna Van costing US$ 20,000.
And indeed on Monday, the students attempted to set fire to the police station but the timely arrival of the Police Delta Squad saved the situation. This happened shortly after President Ernest Bai Koroma, Vice-President Samuel Sam Sumana, the Inspector-General of Police, Brima Acha Kamara and the Assistant Inspector- General in charge of Crime Services Francis Munu, among others had visited the School and the disputed land that sparked off the trouble.
Some police personnel alleged yesterday that market women around Brima Lane and Portee contributed money to buy petrol which the students was to have used in the operation.
In an other development a gang of armed robbers fired several shots into the air on Monday afternoon as they made their gateway after a botched attempt to rob Lebanese businessman Riad Hassan.
The incident happened at The Mase, at King Street off Congo Cross just as Riad and his family was driving into their residence at about 4pm.
Reports suggest that the armed men positioned themselves at strategic locations, with one of them planted at the entrance of the residence.
As Riad and his family waited for the gateman to open for them to enter, one of the robbers stationed at their entrance, pulled out a gun and smashed the passenger front door glass of their jeep and attempted to snatch Riad’s briefcase.
His son-in-law, Alie who was driving, seeing that there was trouble ahead, applied the reverse gear and sped away.
At the same time, a Peugeot car used by the gang tried to make it gateway but was chased by the victims whose efforts were thwarted when other members of the gang that were stationed up the road opened sporadic firing attracting the attention of soldiers at the nearby Freetown Garrison at Wilberforce, and officers at the Congo Cross Police Station respectively.

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