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 “I have 30 witnesses”

…M’baqui tells court

April 4, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

First accused person in the ongoing fraud and attempted murder matter in the High Court of Sierra Leone, Mohamed M’baqui, yesterday told the presiding Judge that he has lined up 30 witnesses to testify in his defense for the trial.

The accused made the statement after the presiding Judge, Justice Alusine Sesay, questioned him whether he was the only person to provide evidence in his defense or would rely on other witnesses.

But Justice Sesay noted that the court would not allow the accused to present 30 witnesses, and that the court has the power to stop someone from presenting such witnesses to the court.

“This will be a disadvantage to the accused himself because it causes delay of the trial,” the judge noted.

It could be recalled that  Mohamed M’baqui and  Mohamed Mansaray, were charged to court for an  alleged Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$700,000) fraud, and they were arraigned in 2013 on 86 count charges ranging from conspiracy to defraud, false imprisonment to attempted murder.

The prosecution had alleged that between 2012 and 2013, the accused persons employed false pretense to dupe Indian investor, Malik Sariq of the sum of US$700,000.pawn

Mid  last year, the prosecution closed its case in the matter, while the onus was  now on the  defense  to open theirs.

They had earlier applied that the first accused, Mohamed M’baqui, had a mental turmoil and that he was unfit to take the witness stand and testify. But after several medical cheek ups, the judge ruled that the accused was fit and should therefore testify.

On Friday, 10th February, 2017, Mohamed M’baqui started his testimony at the High Court, where he introduced himself as a businessman and that he deals in diamonds, electricals and general merchandise.

He disclosed that he was working with several companies in conducting his business, adding that he has both national and international business partners.

He further disclosed that he owned several companies including White House Diamond Company in Freetown, D-Max SM Limited, D and G International, Revers Mining Company and M.G Limited.

He narrated that in 2012, he went to Conakry, Guinea, to acquire Visa to travel to Japan and Mosco and that while in Guinea, he was introduced by a certain Sierra Leonean lady, to six investors including two Indians, two Nigerians and two other nationals he couldn’t identify.

 He said the investors later displayed some electrical products to him through their laptop computer, while they later exchanged contacts.

“After the sharing of e-mails and cell numbers, I later travelled to Japan where I spent two weeks .I also I went to Mosco where and stayed there for four weeks. When I returned to Freetown, I found out that my e-mail was flooded with unread massages and one of the mail stated that they are coming to Sierra Leone .A week later, I collected six of them at Masaika and brought them to Freetown,” he testified.