The High Court of Sierra Leone on Thursday 19th¬†May 2011 sentenced the former Director of the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change (ABC) Secretariat, Dr. Philip Conteh to a jail term of six years or an alternative fine of sixty million Leones (Le.60, 000, 000).¬† Dr. Philip Conteh was sentenced alongside two other senior staff members of the ABC Secretariat, Messrs Alieu Sesay and Zonta Kamara who were also sentenced six and three years respectively if they fail to pay their fines.
Pronouncing his judgment, High Court Judge Nicholas Browne Marke stated that after carefully examining the arguments presented by both the prosecution and defense on the matter before him, the court proved beyond reasonable doubt that all three were guilty of certain of the various charges brought against them by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
In his ruling, Judge Brown Marke levied the total of Le.60m in fine against Philip Conteh for two count charges for which he was guilty out of the previous seventeen-count charges.¬† Each charge carried the fine of thirty million Leones or three years imprisonment.
Alieu Sesay also was fined Le 30 million each for two count charges or serve jail terms of three years for each count, amounting to Le 60m.
The third accused, Zonta Kamara was found guilty on one count charge and was sentenced to a three-year jail term or alternatively pay a fine of thirty million Leones.¬†
Earlier, Defense Lawyer Blyden Jenkins-Johnston appealed to the court to tamper justice with mercy and be reasonable in pronouncing judgment on the accused.
Following the verdict, the convicts were unable to pay the alternative fine on the spot and were all dragged to the Pademba Road maximum prison.
It could be recalled that the three accused persons were dragged to court by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on seventeen count charges of corruption and misappropriation of public funds, among others in 2010 while manning the affairs of the ABC Secretariat.¬†
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.