Sierra Leone UPDATE: AG halts editor’s inquest

The Attorney General (AG) of Sierra Leone, Frederick Carew, declared that his office is unable to prefer any charge relating to the death of Harry Yansaneh, acting editor of independent daily newspaper For Di PeopleYansaneh 34, died on the night of July 27, 2005 at CUPID Hospital in Freetown, after Fatmata Hassan a Member of Parliament of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party of (SLPP) who is also Yanssaneh’s landlady ordered her five relatives to assault the editor.

A six- man committee set up by President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and headed by a Magistrate court judge, Adrian Fischer to probe the circumstances leading to the death of Yansaneh concluded that the death of Yansaneh was the result of assault on him after its hearing ended on August 26.

“Considering the totality of the evidence especially the report of Dr.W.A.Willoughby and Dr. Owiz Koroma relating to the cause of the death of the said Yansaneh, my office is unable to prefer charges relating to his death”, AG Crew stated. He said the record of evidence contained in the police file has also not met the requirement of law. Carew explained that the medical findings of Dr. Koroma a Pathologist and Dr. Willoughby, Yanssaneh’s personal doctor showed infection in the kidney and bladder. This, Carew said had no relation to the assault on the editor and his death. Meanwhile Sierra Leone Association Journalistic (SLAJ) which has consistently put different forms of pressure on the government to prosecute the MP and her relatives has rejected the AG’s argument.

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