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‘Bleeding killed journalist’ - confimrs pathologist in court

  • Ibrahim Foday

By Aminata Phidelia Allie

Government consultant pathologist and chief forensic scientist, Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma, yesterday 13 March 2013 testified in court, confirming that journalist Ibrahim Foday actually died of bleeding. He told Court No 2 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda that whilst on duty on Tuesday 14 June 2011, he was instructed by his chief medical officer to conduct a post-mortem on the deceased’s body, which he successfully carried out. Tendering his post-mortem report in court, he said that he later observed that “the cause of death was due to loss of blood caused by bleeding from a stab in his body,” adding that he also confirmed a torn and collapsed left lung. The 38-year old Foday worked for the former Exclusive newspaper, was alleged to have been brutally murdered in June of 2011 whiles covering a land dispute between some youths of Grafton and Kossoh Town in the eastern part of Freetown. The matter, which has dragged on for over a year, was again adjourned to the 20 March 2013 for the prosecution to bring in any more witness(s) or the case is closed. In another matter on Tuesday 12 March, the pathologist described the death of the late pharmacist, Adeyemi Justine Patrick Johnson as “unnatural”. Testifying as the fourth prosecution witness, he said he had conducted an autopsy on the late 58 year-old male deceased’s body on Wednesday 14 November 2012. He found on his skin numerous fractures, blisters and other skin marks caused by burns. “Having been tortured from head to toe, the deceased’s throat was also tightly tied with a 0.2 centimeter chord,” he explained, adding that the dead man also had multiple fractures on his skull, facial bones, chest and other parts of his body that were associated to manual strangulation. The pathologist recalled that there was a blunt injury that was caused by force on his face, lungs and upper abdomen, adding that his spinal cord was also injured. Dr. Koroma told the court that he also saw massive intra cerebral damage, ruptured liver, spleen and left kidney due to the fracture of the ribs. “In my professional and expert opinion, his death was neither accidental nor suicidal but definitely homicidal,” the pathologist declared. Defense for the first and second accused, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, challenged the pathologist as to whether he was aware of the deceased having any record of HIV/AIDS. The pathologist said that though not aware of any such record, the deceased’s death could not have been caused by HIV/AIDS, adding that no health condition that could have resulted in his death was discovered. The matter has been adjourned to 20 March 2013.