Timbergate Trial commences in Freetown
The trial commenced in the High Court of Sierra Leone on Tuesday April 24 in the matter of alleged conspiracy to commit corruption, involving Momoh Kemoh Konte and Alex Mansaray, named in the Aljazeera documentary footage broadcast in its program Africa Investigates Corruption.
Momoh Kemoh Konte was arraigned before the trial Judge, Justice Cham on seven count charges ranging from conspiracy to committing corruption, soliciting and offering advantage, and peddling influence, in the absence of Alex Mansaray with who was charged for the same offence.
The charges were prepared by the Anti Corruption Commissioner, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara following the timber documentary aired by Aljazeera TV network on 23 of November 2011.
Justice Cham sat on the issue on Tuesday at 9:30 am. Before the trial proceeded, he ordered for names of the defendants to be called upon to ascertain their presence three times, with Momoh Konte only in attendance.
Lawyer Reginald S. Finn prosecuting the matter on behalf of the ACC applied for the charges to be read in court for the first time for the panel’s hearing, which was done.
Lead Defence Counsel, Ajibola Maley Spaine raised objection over the fact that count charges 4 & 5 are charges levelled to Alex Mansaray and not his client, Momoh Konte. Counts 4 & 5 establish the offence of soliciting an advantage contrary to Section 35 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act 2008.
The defence team of Momoh Konte comprising of Lawyer Sulaiman Kabba Koroma, Mohamed P. Fofanah, and Lansana Kotor Kamara, observed that Momoh Kemoh Konteh was the only one present at the trial proceeding. On that basis they applied that the matter be adjourned to May 21st, 2012 to such a time when all the accused persons shall be made present.
Momoh Konte stood in his strict suit in a relaxed mood, confidently smiling in court as he attended to all primary inquiries directed to him.
The presiding judge, Justice Charm granted him (Momoh Konte) bail at the sum of Leone 150 million.
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Paul Arthur Williams
We are no longer interested in APC propaganda ACC rubbish, why all the time wasted? That shows that Koroma controls every criminal act and decides who to jail, die or banish.23rd June 2012
Time for those criminals and thugs to pack off for real humans values.
What is the ACC waiting for, in the so call timber gate prosecution? We all know it because the Kono people stood behind their brothers, and the treating remarks they give to those who know it, that why those two men were removed from these case. But Mr President you will never eat your cake and have it. Be very careful with the guy you missing around with. Lonta.4th June 2012