By Alieu Kondoh
Rtd. Major Alfred Palo Conteh has been refused bail by the Appeals Court. Three judges, Justice Ivan Sesay, Justice Bintu Alhadi and Justice Tonia Barnett refused the bail application by the defense Lawyers of appellate applicant Rtd. Major Alfred Palo Conteh ordering that his fiancée and son shall visit him in prison twice a week.
It can be recalled that in July, 2020 Palo Conteh who was standing trial for treason and other offences was convicted for unlawful possession of small arms and carrying weapons in a prohibited place by the High Court and was given a compulsory jail term of two years, a ruling his lawyers appealed against.
Dr. Abdulai Osman Conteh, applied for his client to be put on bail pending the hearing and determination of the matter, but his application was objected to by State Prosecutor, Joseph A.K Sesay. Dr. A.O Conteh for which Lawyer Conteh stated that his client is a first time offender who was arraigned on 13 counts charges including treason, perjury, and unlawful possession of small arms but was only convicted on two counts of unlawful possession of small arms and sentenced to Two (2) years compulsory imprisonment to be served concurrently.
The three appeals court judges ruled that the application for bail be dismissed: “We have to take into account the fact that the applicant/appellant is a trained former military officer of the rank of a major he was not only convicted with the offence of having a loaded gun in his possession in a public place but he was convicted on the basis on having kept a greater number of small arms.”
The court maintained that it is convinced that there are special or exceptional circumstances that have been shown to warrant the granting of the bail application.
The judges ordered that Alfred Palo Conteh should be allowed to have two hours of exercise a day, he should have access to personal books and magazines to read, and should be granted access to a medical doctor.