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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs