As ACC intensifies the fight: Justice Charm says no bail for corrupt officers
The Project Accountant, Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPREMP), Mustapha Amara and Senior Driver at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Planning (MoFED), Joseph Tewuleh were refused bail by Hon. Justice Abdulai Charm on Friday 28th June 2013. After assessing the various submissions, Justice Charm ruled in favour of the Anti-Corruption Commission(ACC) and cancelled the application for bail.
The Counsel for the Applicants, led by Suliaman Kabba Koroma, filed in for bail pending the decision of the Court of Appeal to which the defence counsel had earlier filed an appeal motion. Mr. Kabba Koroma argued that Counsel for the Respondent was late to object because an affidavit had already been filed in opposition to the motion.
Earlier, ACC prosecutor, Ady Macauley, objected the bail request by the defence team. Mr. Macauley made his objection on the grounds that the notice for bail failed to disclose the legal provisions as the matter is not a pending matter and was no longer in the High Court. He also intimated the court that section 67 subsection 2 of the Court’s Act provides that such motion for bail should have been tendered ‘viva voce’ immediately to the “court before whom” the sentence was passed.
Commenting on this development, ACC’s Director of Public Education and Outreach, Shollay Davies, expressed that this is another step forward in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. “It will help to motivate all partners in the fight and the people of Sierra Leone who cannot wait anymore to see corrupt officers behind bars.” The Director added.
It could be recalled that on the 7th of June, 2013, Mustapha Amara and Joseph Tewuleh (both of the Ministry of Finance) were convicted on various corruption offences at the High Court of Sierra Leone, presided by Ugandan born judge, Justice John Bosco Katutsi. They were both sentenced to five years imprisonment in addition to fines of sixty and eighty million Leones for the first and second accused respectively. This was the first custodial sentence on corrupt officers in Sierra Leone since the promulgation of the 2008 Anti Corruption Act.
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