There is quiet unease in some sectors of the society following the reports this week that one Bhatti Zulfiqar Ali, a strange Pakistani citizen, is facing trial for forging a Sierra Leone Visa after an illegal entry into the country. It has raised concerns that the country might need to step up its anti-terrorism efforts. Please see below for more.
Pakistani Charged for illegal Entry of Sierra Leone
By: Lucia S. Kamara
A Pakistani businessman, Bhatti Zulfiqar Ali has on Tuesday 23rd February, 2016 been refused bail and remanded to the Male Correctional Center by Magistrate Abu-Bakarr Binneh Kamara of Freetown Magistrate Court No.1 for the offense of illegal entry and forgery.
Bhatti Zulfiqar Ali faces two counts of illegal entry and forgery, contrary to the laws of the State. Count one states that the accused person on Thursdays 28th January, 2016 entered Sierra Leone without valid travelling certificates, contrary to section 19(2)(f)(1) of the Non-Citizens (Registration, Immigration and Expulsion) Act of 1965. Count two continues that the accused person on the same date was found using a forged visa, contrary to section 36(1) of Act No.14 of the Non-Citizens (Registration, Immigration and Expulsion) Act of 1965.
The particulars of offence state that the accused person Bhatti Zulfiqar Ali on Thursdays 28th January, 2016 at Freetown International Airport in Lungi, Port Loko Judicial District entered the country without a valid travelling certificate.
It also alleged that on the same date, the accused person without lawful authority uses a forged document in which the Sierra Leone Immigration Department Landing Visa has been forged.
The witness, Samuel Turay was present in Court but could not proceed with his testimony because the lead defense counsel, Lawyer I.P. Mamie requested a short adjournment to study the statutory act of the law and the file, to see what punishment is levied against his client. Reason being that, he wanted to see whether he could advice his client to plea in guilty or not.
His application was upheld by the presiding magistrate and the matter was adjourned to Thursday 24th February, 2016 for further hearing.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.