May 18, 2024

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The former president of Sierra Leone was accused of attempting a coup

The former president of Sierra Leone was accused of attempting a coup

Ernest Bai Koroma, who was in power in Sierra Leone between 2007 and 2018, has been charged with four counts, including treason, for his alleged participation in the November 26 riots, in which a group of men attacked an army and police barracks. Freeing thousands of prisons.

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Amadou Koita, a former soldier and member of Koroma's personal security, was also charged in a Freetown court with masterminding the attack on the Wilberforce barracks, the most important in the country.

Information Minister Chernor Bah announced in a statement, “The Republic of Sierra Leone on Tuesday charged Amadou Queta and 11 other people, including former police and prison officials, for their role in the failed coup that took place on November 26.”

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

Arrests will continue

Quetta, a well-known critic of the government on social media, was arrested just over a week after what authorities described as a “clear and unambiguous” coup attempt. He appeared sitting on a wooden chair, his hair partially shaved and bruised, and his eyes swollen.

For his part, Koroma attended the hearing on Wednesday, while many of his supporters cried at the back of the courtroom. The treason charge can carry a penalty of up to life imprisonment under Sierra Leone law.

The former president was called to testify in early December in connection with the alleged attempt, in which 20 people were killed and 2,200 prisoners were released from a prison.

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

The process is in doubt

The events of 26 November were originally interpreted as a response to the disputed results of the 24 June elections, in which Julius Maada Bio was declared the winner of a second term with 56.17% of the vote, while the opposition expressed doubts about the elections. Process accuracy.

However, the European Union, the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, the United States and the United Kingdom, among others, condemned the subsequent riots, and opposition leader Samora Kamara supported the government's actions. The government recently took over the failed attempt.

With Reuters and EFE