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SPECIAL REPORTS : Afsatu Kabba  

In Sierra Leone, Afsatu is Back in High Court today
By
May 17, 2010, 14:10
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The controversial trial of one of Sierra Leones most popular female politicians, Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba, for alleged corrupt acts, resumes this morning of 17th May 2010 at the Law Courts in Freetown. In period since last adjourned date of May 5th 2010, some dramatic developments involving the man who signed Haja Afsatus indictment papers has occurred in Sierra Leone.

Mr. Abdul Tejan-Cole, Commissioner of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) abruptly resigned from his office after first fleeing the shores of the country without giving an explanation for his actions. It will be recalled that Mr. Tejan-Cole had come under serious criticisms over his handling of the Haja Afsatu investigations and prosecution. Meanwhile, Lead Prosecutor, Calvin Mantsebo who had been suspected to might have also resigned, says he will be in court this morning to prosecute.

This morning, the examination of the first prosecution witness Mr. Abubakarr Jalloh of the Central Bank, will continue. He is expected to tender the five cheques which were used to withdraw three hundred and ten million leones from the Fisheries MCS Account that Mr. Abdul Tejan-Cole is alleging was withdrawn on the "verbal instructions" of Haja Afsatu Kabba. Haja Afsatu Kabba has vehemently denied the allegations insisting that every single withdrawal from that MCS Account which she approved, was done in writing and never verbally. She strongly denies knowledge of all the said Le310,000,000 withdrawals.

Another development is that the Order by former Judge, Hon. Browne-Marke that gave leave for the protective measures for the witnesses to be reviewed as and when circumstances dictated, might be acted upon by the Defence Counsel. It will be recalled that the ACC made an application for identity, of virtually all witnesses, to be hidden. This was granted by the learned Judge but subject to review. Last Wednesday, a man claiming to be one protected witness (name withheld) told our correspondent on landing at London Heathrow airport that he had left Salone & will return only after the trial ends. His stated reasons for leaving are being withheld for now.


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