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01.06.2012 Sierra Leone

ANAS, SORIOUS TO TESTIFY …for the Sierra Leonean Anti Corruption Commission Over Aljazeera ‘Timbergate’

By Cindy Peckham
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Ghanaian undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his colleague, Sorious Samura of Sierra Leone have been invited by the Anti Corruption Committee of Sierra Leone to testify in a Sierra Leonean High Court in July. They are testifying on corruption charges involving one Momoh Kemoh Konte and Alex Mansaray, named in Africa investigates' (a current affairs investigative programme on Aljazeera).

In a telephone conversion with Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, Head of Sierra Leone's Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) said that his Commission had made adequate preparation for the two journalist to fly into Sierra Leone to testify in the case.

Anas, informed us that his team of undercover investigators were more than willing to join hands with the Commission to prove the case of alleged corruption against the two. He intimated that come July, they are looking forward to a showdown in the Sierra Leone High Court where evidence would be adduced. “We are also looking forward to an eventful cross examination by the defense counsel, and we can assure the people of Sierra Leone that every single testimony is going to be backed with accompanying undercover videos and we are happy to be part of that process”.

Anas has been testifying in such cases in Ghana over the years.

Anas, however told Kamara that appropriate security measures should be put in place to safeguard the security of the team. Mr. Kamara assured the team that security would be adequately provided to ensure the safety of the journalists when they arrive in Sierra Leone in July.

It would be recalled that Aljazeera aired a documentary; among the many Africa investigate series, entitled Timber, which threw some searchlight on some men within the Vice President's office who dabbled in the business of helping foreigners acquire timber licenses contrary to the law.

The Anti Corruption Commission handed seven charges against Momoh Konte and Alex Mansaray, both business men accused of wrong doing in the Aljazeera documentary. The counts included, peddling influence, conspiracy to commit corruption, amongst others.

Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana, the Vice President of Sierra Leone who featured in the documentary was not indicted.

Stay tuned.

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