News / Africa

Former Sierra Leone Fisheries Minister Found Guilty of Misusing Public Funds

Sierra Leone's former minister of fisheries and marine resources was found guilty on Tuesday of misusing public funds.  She faces more than $100,000 in fines or 15 years in prison.

Former Fisheries Minister Haja Afsatu Kabba was found guilty on five counts of misappropriating public funds.  She was acquitted on two counts of abuse of office in the verdict read out in Freetown's High Court No. 2.

Justice Samuel Ademusu ordered Kabba to pay more than $100,000 within four weeks or be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Defense attorney Blyden Jenkins Johnston says the fines will be paid.

"We went through a trial," said Blyden Jenkins Johnston. "It was a proper trial.  And the judge has found our client guilty on five out of seven counts.  So we have nothing more to say than that we accept the verdict of the court.  We will look into the judgment.  And if there are grounds of appeal, we will appeal.  But for now, we accept the verdict and the fines will be paid."

Anti-Corruption Commissioner Joseph Kamara says he is pleased with the verdict.

"Today, the quality and integrity of the justice delivery system has witnessed a new dawn," said Joseph Kamara. "We stand at the corner of a new challenge.  Justice has been rendered."

Kabba was one of two women in President Ernest Bai Koroma's cabinet.  She was his first minister of energy and power, but she was reassigned to the fisheries ministry after allegations of impropriety in the awarding of contracts to bring electricity to the capital during the president's first 100 days in office.

Kabba was found guilty of ordering employees to make four withdrawals from ministry accounts last October, totaling nearly $37,000.

Justice Ademusu ruled that Kabba kept the money for herself.  Kabba was also found guilty of transferring more than $39,000 of ministry funds to the bank account of a private company that then gave most of that money to her.

Kabba was acquitted on charges that she improperly employed her sons and their friends at the ministry of energy and power, and at the ministry of fisheries and marine resources.

Joseph Kamara says the Anti-Corruption Commission, or ACC, is vigorously pursuing other cases of official corruption.

"I think I have an aggressive prosecutorial policy and it comes with the vision and conviction that I have that the ACC is that vigor of change that this country has been yearning for," he said. "And it is that conviction that is reflected in my approach and circumstances that surround events."

Kamara says that the commission will bring more cases to court before the end of the year.   

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid