By Jane B. Mansaray.
High Court Judge, Justice Miatta Samba yesterday discharged a journalist, Dennis Jones formerly of Sierra Express Newspaper over an alleged corruption offence involving one hundred thousand United States Dollars.
The accused, Mr. Dennis Jones was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit a corruption offence contrary to Section 40 of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Act of 2008.
According to the indictment, Mr. Jones in 2015 in Freetown conspired with one Mohamed Osman Sesay purporting to be an Executive Director of Network Proximity Company to dupe a foreign national, Mr. Dominic with the above mentioned sum for the alleged award of an International Gateway operating license in Sierra Leone.
During investigation of the matter, Mr. Jones forwarded a write up with the heading “Teltack/network proximity company awarded international license” which was published on the 4th May 2015 by the proprietor Ibrahim Sillah of Salon Champion Newspaper.
This publication based on evidence in court was posted to Mr. Dominic that convinced him to send the said sum through Mohamed Osman Sesay’s bank account at Guaranty Trust Bank in Freetown.
Both accused persons were since their arrest remanded at the Pademba Road Male Correctional Centre on separately related indictments.
In his evidence in court, Chairman of the National Telecommunication Company (NATCOM), Mr. Momoh Konte denied knowing any of the accused persons and said he never came across any registration of license document in the name of the above named company.
In a plea of mitigation, Mr. Jones apologised to the court and the state for his action. He asked the Court to temper justice with mercy as sending him to prison will bring hardship to his family.
Justice Samba in delivering the judgment found the accused guilty and considering the disposition of the convict throughout the trial and time spent in prison, she therefore discharged the convict and cautioned him against participating in corruption offences which is a cancer in our society.
The other accused person, Mr. Mohamed Osman Sesay is still on remand attending trial.