NOT GUILTY: Seven Years in Legal BondageJuly 30, 2015
For seven years, 840 days a popular sitting Magistrate named Adrian Fischer found himself in a legal bondage. He was accused of corruption by the Anti Corruption Commission under the leadership of Abdul Tejan Cole. Commissioner Cole had pursued the then Magistrate Fischer for reasons that were not related to corruption, so when an allegation of corruption was raise against him, he explored it with to his advantage and with the intention of putting a stain on his character. He manipulated the court clerk assigned to the then sitting Magistrate named Aku to proffer false evidence against him with promises of a package of immunity against prosecution.
In court, Aku was vigilant and confident to give evidence against his boss whom he served at the Bo Magistrate court for almost two years. The trial of the then Magistrate lasted for few months with a conviction imposed on him by Justice Mary Sey who was under the influence of her employers to get her contract renewed. Unfortunately, she was not lucky, despite she had danced to their music. The UNPD refused to pay her contractual fee and the Head of the Judiciary also could not renew her contract for reasons that were associated not only with the Adrian Fischer’s case but her general conduct as a Presiding Judge, which was perceived unprofessional and disrespectful to authority.
Justice Mary Sey had caused the future of many Sierra Leoneans to end abruptly due to her high handedness in delivering justice and her dislike for Sierra Leoneans that are progressive. A Gambian national who was picked up by the former Chief Justice, Dr. Ade Renner Thomas without knowing much about her true character. She served for considerable period on the Bench and changed the residential address of prominent Sierra Leoneans to the Pademba Road prison without any regret.
Knowing the character of Justice Mary Sey and how she dislikes progressive Sierra Leoneans, Commissioner Tejan Cole directed, even though he hasn’t the authority to do so that the case file of Adrian Fischer be assigned to her for trial.
As a contract Judge, she was receiving a monthly salary of $5,000 (Five Thousand Dollars) whilst other Judges were receiving less than that so when it was announced that her contract was not going to be renewed despite that fact she had danced to her singer’s music she felt betrayed and left the shores of Sierra Leone dejected.
Adrian Fischer was sentenced to one year in jail for a crime that was widely believed among litigants and other Judges and Magistrates he did not commit. The alternative was a fine of Le100, 000.00 One Hundred Million Leones that he should pay the same day or goes to Pademba Road Prison and serve his term.
Many Lawyers pleaded with Justice Mary Sey for time to be granted to the accused person to pay the fine but she refused saying “that was her order”
According to the indictment, Magistrate Adrian Fischer had embezzled the sum of Le3,000.000 Three Million Leones paid as fines by litigants in Bo and court clerk Aku was the prosecution witness (1) who was receiving payments from them instead of directing litigants where to make payments in the Judicial Sub-Treasury.
Two Anti Corruption Acts, namely 2000 and the amended version were used to prosecute the accused and found him guilty.
Yesterday at the Appellate Court, the three Judges, namely Justice Fofanah, Justice Jones and Supreme Court Judge Eku Roberts collectively in their judgement said “it was unfair and against fair trial principles to use two Acts to try an accused person for an offence”. Not only that, it became explicit that the trial Judge abused the process (See details next edition).
The Judges overturned the guilty verdict that was imposed on Adrian Fischer and restored his freedom, stating that he was not guilty.
The fine, which was in the sum of Le100 Million equally imposed on him, which he paid was ordered to be refunded. It is likely that Magistrate Adrian Fischer would return home to continue his legal practice, but family sources say he is currently working with the United Kingdom Judicial System, so it remains unclear whether he would give up his present job for a Magisterial Bench