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Dr. Richard Konteh Remanded Again

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Dr. Richard Konteh Remanded Again

By Daniella Samura

The former Chief of Staff at State House, Dr. Richard Konteh and two others namely Alie Suma and Lessie Peter Crosbie have been remanded at the Pademba Road Prison for the third time by Magistrate Komba Kamanda of Court No. 2 in Freetown.

The second Prosecution Witness  to take the witness stand yesterday was Mr. Sana  Jonsen Mara, who is a Civil Servant attached to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and also the Senior Permanent Secretary in the same Ministry. He mentioned that some of his responsibilities include staff supervision and also an administrator.

Two letters were presented to him in court and he recognized both of them saying one of the letters was written by Dr. Richard Konteh, the former Chief of Staff and the other letter was from Mr. Alie Suma, the Managing Director of Timber Harvesters Processers and Exporters Sierra Leone Limited.

The first letter allegedly written by Dr. Richard Konteh states that Mr. Alie Suma had been given executive clearance by the President for the purpose of exporting value added processed timber.

The other letter was allegedly written by Mr. Alie Suma in respect of the thirty (30) containers of value added processed timber he intended to export. The documents were tendered in court and were marked exhibits G 1 and B attached. He was asked by the prosecuting counsel Lawyer M.M. Sesay if he took any action when he saw the letters. He said he minuted the letters to the Chief Director on the 21st February 2014.

PW2 also stated in his testimony in court that he wrote letters to all shipping agencies in respect of the 30 containers of value added processed timber. He also mentioned that he received a correspondence from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security. The documents were tendered and marked exhibit G attached to C 2, 3 and 4.

Letters were written to the Inspector General of Police (I.G), the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security and also the Chief Executive Officer of the Timber Association (CEO) by the former Chief of Staff, Dr. Richard Konteh. PW 2 was asked by the prosecutor where he document kept and he said he kept it in his file.

The document was about to be tendered when one of the defence Lawyers objected and said faded photocopied document must not be tendered in court because the allegations levied against the accused persons are very serious and therefore the original document must be produced.

The prosecutor on the other hand said the document had legal requirements by law on the grounds that the document was not only copied to PW 2 but also to other personalities. He also stated that PW 2 received the document in a photocopied form and also the witness had explained the whereabouts of the original document.

The Defence Counsel applied for bail on behalf of the accused persons, on the grounds that they will not entertain the thought of absconding because they are innocent and are willing to prove their innocence.

The prosecuting counsel objected to the application for bail. The accused were remanded at the Pademba Road maximum prison. The matter was adjourned to Thursday 10th July 2014.

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