Principal Magistrate of the Siaka Stevens Street Magistrate Court No.1 yesterday granted one hundred Million Leones bail to a Sierra Leonean youth, Francis Josiah on his first appearance for allegedly insulting the Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Mohamed Bangura on a WhatsApp social media platform.
The accused, Francis Josiah faces six related charges ranging from defamatory libel to insulting conduct contrary to Section 27 of the Public Order Act of 1965.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused on diverse dates between the 13th and 16 July 2017, maliciously published a defamatory statement in the form of writing on whatsapp social media platform against the Minister and at the same time used obscene and insulting words with intent to provoke Mr. Mohamed Bangura of breaching the peace in Sierra Leone.
Some of the alleged defamatory libel statements include “Ranka Politician”, “APC vs SLPP” with a family photo of Mr. Mohamed Bangura.
Lawyer Alhaji Mustapha Kamara on behalf of the accused person made an application for bail pursuant to Section 79 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act No32 of 1965.
He said the accused is a senior and responsible citizen that committed a bailable offence for which he (accused) was released on bail from Police custody.
On behalf of the Law Officers Department, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Samuel Kamara objected to bail on the grounds that the offences as charged are very serious ones and that the accused did not show any sign of remorse.
ASP Kamara further that if the accused person is granted bail, there is the likelihood for him to interference with prosecution witnesses.
He said the objection is not to punish the accused person but to serve as a deterrent to the general public.
The matter was adjourned to the 1st August 2017 for hearing.