Hajj-Gage Trial Faces Setback


By Thomas S. Kembay

The disappearance of the 7th prosecution witness has led to a big setback in the ongoing Hajj-gate trial involving former Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh and five others.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Prosecutor, Calvin Mantesebo, past Wednesday, 20th October, 2018 pleaded for a week long adjournment to enable him summon one of his key witnesses.

He made the said plea after leading in evidence, 6 witnesses in the dock before justice Reginald Fynn on different dates and promised that at the next adjourned date, the 7th witness would appear to testify but to the greatest surprise of the court the 7th accused did not show up as promised by the Prosecutor.

Prosecutor Mantesebo did not name the witness but sources close to the prosecution team disclosed that the witness in question, who is not in the jurisdiction of the country is Nuru Deen Yillah Sankoh, a Member of Parliament representing the All People’s congress in the then Constituency 105 covering the Fourah and Fullah Town communities from 2007 to 2012 and also part of the 20017 Hajj Committee. He was later appointed as Assistant to the former President Koroma on Youth and Social issues at State House; a position he held till 2018.

The absence of the 7th witness resulted to the prosecution asking for a subpoena to be issued for him to appear before the court on the next adjourned date, 12th November 2018.

It could be recalled that the former Vice President and others were charged to Court in August, 2018 to answer to eight counts of conspiracy to commit a corruption offence, misappropriation of public fund and engaging in a project without prior planning; allegations which they all denied.