By Janet A Sesay
Dr Simeon Owizz Koroma, who is the government pathologist, has yesterday told the court that Kadija Madiatu Saccoh did not die as a result of rape. He said she died as a result of manual strangulation.
He made this statement when testifying yesterday before Magistrate Mark Ngegba of Pademba Road Court No.2.
Led in evidence by state prosecutor, Joseph Sesay, Dr Simeon Owizz Koroma said his duty is to perform both medical and hospital autopsy on dead bodies and give reports.
He recalled 20 June 2020. He said, on that day, he performed an autopsy on the remains of Kadija Madiatu Saccoh, and after the autopsy he reduced his findings to a medical report. He said all the pages were signed and dated by him, adding that he gave the original report to the relatives for proper burial and the photocopy was handed over to the investigating officer for transmission to the judiciary, head of the Criminal Investigation Department as per international standard. He said the medical report was tendered in court as exhibits to form part of the evidence.
Reading the report, Dr Owizz Koroma said that the five year old child was taken to the Choithram Hospital where she was treated for pneumonia but later died at the hospital. Her remains were conveyed to the Connaught Hospital for an autopsy examination.
He said, upon instruction of the Chief Medical Officer, he performed an autopsy examination on the remains of Kadija Madiatu Saccoh in the presence of Isatu Kabba, who is the grandmother of the deceased, investigating officer Detective Sergeant 1745 Kargbo K and the scene of crime officer, DPC 13974 Joanis E., who are all attached to the Criminal Investigation Department, Lumley Police Station.
He said, in his findings, the body of the deceased was widely nourished and teeth were normal but the tongue was bitten and the neck was swollen with finger scratches. He furthered that the anus was open wide which led to tearing, the vagina of the deceased was widely opened and the primary signs of the vagina are absent and the vagina was wide, easily accepting two fingers but the penetration of the vagina was not the cause of death because there was no bleeding neither bruises or swelling of the vulva and no remnant of the hymen receiving dirt.
He furthered that the neck of the deceased shows massive swelling. He said, in his internal examination, the skull shows no fracture and no bleeding and the chest shows no leakage, fracture or rupture and the heart was of normal size, the stomach shows no eruption.
He said that the cause of death was unnatural but homicidal due to hemorrhagic shock, spinal cord injury and massive swelling of the neck due to manual strangulation. He said the bitten tongue of the deceased indicates severe pain and she was manually strangled to death with finger nails.
At this juncture the lead defense counsel, Alhaji Kamara, sought for a date that they need to look at the autopsy report properly for them to be able to cross examine the witness.
The accused are arraigned on two counts of conspiracy to murder and murder, which are all contrary to law.
The indictment indicates that Mariana Sajor Barrie and Ibrahim Bah, on diverse dates between Monday 1st April and Wednesday 17th June 2020 at 25 Spur Road in Freetown, conspired together with other persons unknown to murder Kadija Madiatu Saccoh.
Bail application was made on behalf of both accused, but was refused by Magistrate Mark Ngegba.
The accused were remanded in custody and the matter comes up on the 4th August 2020.