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ACCs Ogugu Witness Exonerates Momoh Konte

ACCs Ogugu Witness Exonerates Momoh Konte

Under-cover journalist, Ghanaian born Anas Aremeyaw Anas, a key witness of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday February 4, took the testimony stand at the Freetown High Court No. (2) presided over by Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm in the infamous Aljazeera timber documentary strand aired in the airwaves of the Aljazeera Television Network in November 23, 2011.  (Photo: Momoh Konte)

Led in evidence by the ACC seasoned prosecutor, Reginald Fyn, he went through the transcript of the infamous timber strand.

Under cross examination by Ajibola Manley-Spain, the lead defense counsel for the accused person Momoh Konte, Anas Anas admitted that he is an undercover journalist and that he visited Sierra Leone with his colleagues to produce a documentary titled: “Africa Investigates–Corruption” a timber documentary series in which he took the role of a business consultant.

When Ajibola Manley-Spain asked Anas Anas whether he knew if a ban on logging was in place at the time of production of the documentary, Anas Anas replied; “I never knew.” He said he and his colleagues were in Sierra Leone to investigate illegal timber logging and issues of corruption in high places after reading a brief on how timbers were illegally logged and the people not reaping the benefit yielding from their forest reserve.

He said undercover footage, a collection of all undercover works done for the purpose of producing the documentary and relevant shoots were selected by the directors and the producers in the making of the film.

Anas Anas failed to implicate the accused Momoh Konte in any number of charges brought against him by the ACC in court. He cut a forlorn figure on the witness stand struggling to read under his disguised artful looks.

Asked whether he bribed the accused to see the Vice President, Chief Sam Sumana, he denied but maintained that the Ten Thousand United States Dollars (U$10,000) in question was a requirement for the lawyers to prepare the Memorandum and the Article of Association (M&M) required to register their Al-Tayibar Trade and Business Company in Sierra Leone, adding that Sorious Samura was responsible for the voice over in the documentary, while he was in  charge of filming the said documentary aired on the airwaves of the Aljazeera television channel.

He accepted that there was nowhere in the transcript where the accused asked for a specific amount from him when squeezed by lawyer Spaine. He said even though the accused was filmed in the Vice President’s office, his presence was never felt in the final documentary.

The defense for the accused person asked Anas Anas whether he was part of the making of the transcript, he reply was: No.

Asked how accurate his time was since the recording was done undercover, Mr. Anas said the machines were programmed to record with time reference and date.

Asked again why the transcript was not produced the same time the film hits the airwaves, Mr. Anas said the transcript was going through production. Asked whether he recorded the telephone call he made to the accused person before he met him, he replied: No.

The ACC prosecutor had wanted to throw five questions to the witness following the cross examination of the defense counsel, but the witness said he was tired.

The matter comes up again today in court.

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