Attorney arrested regarding news article remains under police investigation
By AL MansaraY
A rights lawyer arrested in mid-May by investigators of the Sierra Leone police Criminal Investigation Department regarding a news article published in a UK based online outlet says Friday he is still being investigated and is troubled by the lack of information from detectives.
Attorney Ada Macauley was questioned for several hours at CID headquarters in Freetown after his client, (Rtd) Alfred Palo Conteh, was referenced in the article — which alleged there was a secret plan by government to move six jailed opposition members from the capital Freetown to an unknown opposition bastion.
“I met the investigating officer, Superintendent MK Allieu, the other day, and I accosted him and told him that ‘look, em, you’ve not come back to me to tell me whether the investigations have been concluded. I don’t want a criminal matter hanging over my head,’” Macauley says over the phone.
Since investigators have not kept him informed on the status of the investigations, Macauley says he will write a formal letter to the CID boss — copying the Attorney General — and requesting that he “be informed on the progress of the allegations that have been investigated against me.”
Macauley was released on his own recognizance after concurring with police demands for him to sign a document promising to make himself available whenever needed.
The police spokesperson did not immediately respond to inquiries regarding Macauley’s arrest.
Macauley’s client, Conteh, mentioned in the UK article, was a former Defense and Internal Affairs minister in the previous government — and was recently found not guilty by 12 jurors of three treasonous and several other felonious offences.
He was however found guilty of two counts of unlawful gun possession — each count carries a maximum of one-year prison term — or a 5M in local currency or both.
But the judge sentenced him to the maximum for each count — thus, he is to serve a total of two years in prison. His legal team is appealing the conviction to a higher court.
Theorganiser.net headline reads: Govt’s Secret Plans to Transfer APC Prisoners to SLPP Fortress but the Lawyers say No!
Macauley was never mentioned in the piece nor anyone as named sources.
Following his arrest, the publication wrote:
“Theorganizer.net newspaperabsolutely condemns the unnecessary arrest, detention and harassment of the learned lawyer Ady Macauley. The newspaper never consulted Mr Macauley nor did he contribute an iota of information in the write-up story.”