Sierra Leone: Ex-President Koroma charged in connection with “attempted coup d’état”

Former Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma, who led the country from 2007 to 2018, was indicted on Wednesday January 3 for his alleged role in the events of November 26, described by the government as an “attempted coup”.
“The former President is charged with four offenses, including treason and concealment of treason”, said a government statement signed by Information Minister Chernor A. Bah. In the early hours of November 26, men attacked a military armory, two other barracks, two prisons and two police stations, confronting security forces with weapons drawn.
The fighting left 21 people dead, including 14 soldiers, a policeman, a prison guard, a security guard, a woman and three assailants, according to the Minister of Information. At least eighty people have been arrested in connection with these events, most of them soldiers, according to the authorities.
Until then, Mr. Koroma had been a “suspect” in the organization of the November 26 events, and had been questioned several times by the police. Since December 9, he has been under a regime akin to house arrest. “The former president is on his way home”, said one of his lawyers, Ady Macaulay. The case has been adjourned until January 17, he added.
A large security detail was set up near the Freetown courthouse where Mr. Koroma was being heard. On Tuesday, the Sierra Leonean justice system charged twelve alleged perpetrators of “attempted coup d’état”, including Amadu Koita, a former soldier and bodyguard of Mr. Koroma, widely followed on social networks where he criticized the government of President Julius Maada Bio, according to the police.