From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Afsatu Kabba
In Sierra Leone, Haja Afsatu Kabba’s Lawyers Debunk ACC’s Lie
By
Jul 28, 2010, 17:18

Lawyers for Haja Afsatu Kabba, the former Fisheries Minister who was charged for corruption and is awaiting judgment, have in their Closing Arguments, debunked and exposed a big lie by the State Prosecutors that their fifth prosecution witness, PW5 was a newcomer to the Fisheries Ministry at the time the monies were misappropriated.


The Prosecutor Calvin T. Mantsebo on Page 6 of his Closing Arguments had tried to convince the Honourable Learned Judge that the Prosecution Witnesses did not have a motive to falsely accuse the witness by writing as follows: PW5 was a new arrival at the Ministry and it is unreasonable to suggest that he immediately connived with PW2, PW3 and PW4


In reaction, Lawyer Yada Williams Esq. first debunked the lie that PW5 was a new arrival to the Ministry by reminding the Court as follows: “PW5 told the Courts he has worked in Technical arm of the Ministry for the past 27 years (Page 42 Line 31 of the Court records refers). So contrary to the Prosecution’s theory, PW5 is not a new arrival whom it was unreasonable to suggest could have connived with PW2, PW3 and PW4".


Lawyer Yada Williams then, with precision, continued by stating the position of the Defence with regards the Motive behind PW5’s testimony as follows: “Rather, as a longstanding beneficiary [spanning several decades] of a System that was used to generating less than 5 billion leones per annum but which the Accused changed to over 11 billion leones in just nine months, he had so much motive to want the Accused removed from office.”

 

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It came out during the trial that the Accused was a success story at the Ministry. In 9 months of her tenure she accomplished a feat which was unprecedented in the history of the Ministry. PW4 said under cross-examination:

“The quantum of revenue in the past was below Le 5 billion.  The accused raised Le 11 billion in the Ministry. It is fair to say that this was as a result of measures put in place by the accused.  It is a correct that in that position she stepped on a lot of toes and created many enemies”. Page 39 line 33 and page 40 lines 1 – 6 of the Court records.

We submit that a lot of avenues for making illicit money were closed by the Accused. How otherwise could the difference of six billion be explained between the previous twelve months and the nine months tenure of the Accused?? It was therefore not surprising that these witnesses ganged up and came with their make believe story that the Accused misappropriated Le. 310,000,000.00 from Government coffers. If the Accused was desirous of making money far more could have been made from the money that Government had been previously short-changed.


PW5 told the Courts he has worked in Technical arm of the Ministry for the past 27 years (Page 42 Line 31 of the Court records refers). So contrary to the Prosecution’s theory, PW5 is not a new arrival whom it was unreasonable to suggest could have connived with PW2, PW3 and PW4. Rather, as a longstanding beneficiary [spanning several decades] of a System that was used to generating less than 5 billion leones per annum but which the Accused changed to over 11 billion leones in just nine months, he had so much motive to want the Accused removed from office. This motive is further reinforced in Exhibits X1 - 9 that was tendered and which showed exchanged correspondences with the Accused querying PW5 for suspicious actions in the Ministry. PW5 responded back with an apology.


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We will continue our serializing of Closing Arguments in subsequent editions of Awareness Times



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