Over Aljazeera ‘Timbergate’ – Momoh Konte in court tomorrow
One of the indicted persons in the controversial Aljazeera – timber documentary saga, Momoh Kemoh Konteh is due in court on Tuesday April 24th. The anti graft agency lodged him with seven counts of indictment charges viz: soliciting an advantage contrary to Section 35(1) of the Anti Corruption Commission Act of 2008, Peddling influence contrary to Section 31(3) of the Anti Corruption Act No 12 of 2008, and Conspiracy to agree to Give an Advantage to a Public Officer contrary to Section 128 of the Anti Corruption Commission Act of 2008.
Count charges 1, 4 & 5 thereof are the same and count charges 6 & 7 are the same totalling to seven.
The matter is Holden at the Criminal Session of the High Court of Sierra Leone on the 20th day of January 2012. The particulars of offense run from the testimonies arranged in the Aljazeera TV network broadcast of its program: Africa Investigate Corruption aired on the 23rd November 2011.
Extracts of the ACC findings include the following:
- Aljazeera Television concluded and aired an investigative documentary on the timber trade in Sierra Leone in 2011.
- Momoh Kemoh Konteh and Alex Mansaray were shown in this documentary making statements to Annas and Bilal (Journalists posing as would be investors) about their connections and influence.
- That the said Momoh Kemoh Konteh and Alex Mansaray held themselves out as acting for and on the behalf of the Vice President Hon. Sam Sumana.
- That Momoh Kemoh Konteh and Alex Mansaray asked Annas and Bilal (Journalists posing as would be investors) for money.
- That Momoh Kemoh Konteh and Alex Mansaray asked Annas and Bilal (Journalists posing as would be investors) for the sum of US$100,000 to facilitate the business of the company generally.
- That they (Momoh Kemoh Konteh and Alex Mansaray) asked for the sum of US$5,000 purportedly for the Vice President.
- They asked the would be investors for US$1,000 purportedly for Sheku Mansaray, Director of Forestry Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security to expedite the issue of license for the export of timber in favour of Tayibar Services.
- The finding disclosed that the accused further asked the would be investors for the sum of US$1,000 purportedly for the security officers in the office of the Vice President so as to expedite access to the Vice President Chief Alhaji Sam Sumana in favour of the said Annas and Bilal.
- That the findings disclosed that Momoh Kemoh Konteh and Alex Mansaray did in fact received money from the would be investors.
- That the various amounts requested by the said Momoh Kemoh Konteh and Alex Mansaray provided sufficient evidence for them to be charged with soliciting an adoliciting advantage contrary to Section 35(1); conspiracy to agree to give an advantage to a public officer; contrary to Section 128; conspiracy to commit a Corruption offense, contrary to Section 128; and Peddling Influence contrary to Section 31(3); all violations of the Anti Corruption Act of 2008.
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