Seven soldiers accused of treason following an attempted coup in Sierra Leone last year were convicted and sentenced to death as their three-week court-martial ended on Wednesday (29 January) in Free-town.
GV Accused soldiers entering Parliament building Parliament building, walking up steps, followed by prison officers (2 shots)
GV PAN Crowd waiting outside Parliament building during proceedings
GV Prisoners under guard leave Parliament building after court-martial and PAN TO watching crowd
GV Prisoners walking down steps and waving to crowd
SV Watching crowd.
Initials ET/1102 ET/1117
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Background: Seven soldiers accused of treason following an attempted coup in Sierra Leone last year were convicted and sentenced to death as their three-week court-martial ended on Wednesday (29 January) in Free-town. An eights solder was acquitted.
The court-martial followed a civil trial of 15 civilians-including two former Government ministers- also convicted of treason in the coup attempt. Like the seven soldiers convicted on Wednesday, the face execution by a firing squad.
The accused were charge with plotting to overthrow the Government last July while President Siaka Stevens was in Europe. they were accused specifically of planning to murder to Cabinet ministers and the Army commander and to blow up an ammunition dump.
Evidence against the soldiers was that they launched an attack from as cemetery, where they had a supply of home-made bombs, on the residence of the then Acting Vice-President, Christian Kamara-Taylor, and then went on to try to kill other peaceful citizens. All had pleaded not guilty.