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Commercial Driver Gets 50 Years Jail term For Killing US Citizen

Hon. Justice Ansumana Ivan Sesay (JA)

Court of Appeal Judge, Hon. Justice Ansumana Ivan Sesay (JA), has sentenced 37-year-old Driver, Ibrahim Mansaray to fifty (50) years imprisonment for the gruesome murder and unlawful burial of 40-year-old United States Citizen, Masaah Kai Kai.

It follows a guilty verdict unanimously returned by an eleven-member jury in respect of a three count indictment of murder, burying a human body in a place other than the cemetery and larceny in a dwelling house.

In his summing-up to the jurors, Hon. Justice Sesay admonished them to put emotions or sympathy aside while they consider the facts of the case.

He said as judges of facts, they shouldn’t be concerned with the consequences of the outcome in any criminal action, adding that, “what is required of you is a cool, calm and careful examination of the evidence in this case.”

Referencing the indictment, Hon. Justice Ivan Sesay said it was alleged that accused Mansaray on a date unknown between the 1st and 9th of August 2018, at Freetown in the Western Area of the Republic of Sierra Leone, murdered MassahKaikai, buried her body in a place other than the cemetery and stole certain items valued Twelve Million Two Hundred and Eighty-Five Thousand Leones (Le12,285,000), being properties of the deceased, MassahKaikai.

Justice Ivan Sesay went on to note that the standard of proof in any criminal matter is for the Prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt by proving the elements of the offences charged.

He said that the Prosecution must prove that there was indeed a murder with malice aforethought, that the deceased died within one year and a day that the accused was of sound mind.

In respect of counts two and three, he said that the Prosecution must prove that a human body was buried in a place other than a cemetery and a proof of the items stolen.

State Prosecutor, Jessie Tucker led in evidence six witnesses during the course of the trial including Pathologist Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma.

In his certified medical cause of death, Government Pathologis, Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma, disclosed that the death was “neither accidental nor suicidal but homicidal, bearing all the hallmarks of a brutal killing with frantic efforts to conceal the heinous act.”

Evidence adduced before the court indicated that the deceased was a US citizen who came to Freetown and was brutally murdered and buried at the back of her compound.

After some months of investigation by the Police, they were unable to determine whether it was murder or not which compelled the flying into Sierra Leone two U.S Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Agents to help the police with their investigations. 

With support from the American Embassy, the decomposed remains of the deceased were exhumed from a hole she had been buried at the back of her compound. The accused was initially charged with kidnapping prior to investigations by the FBI Agents and he later made a confessional statement to the police, admitting to have committed the offence.

In his allocutus, the convict pleaded for mercy and said it was an accident as he didn’t intend to kill the deceased, Massah Kai Kai. He added that the deceased was very good and nice to him.

Making her plea in mitigation, Defence Lawyer from Legal Aid Board, Cecilia Tucker, pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy. She added that the convict was a father of two children and a first time offender. 

Acting on the verdict of the jurors, Hon. Justice Ivan Sesay sentenced the convict to 50 years’ imprisonment for count 1(murder) and another 10 years for count 3 (Larceny), with both sentences to run concurrently. He ordered that the convict pays the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Leones (Le500,000) before he leaves prison for count 2 (Burying a human body in a place other than the cemetery). 

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