July 31, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The presiding judge at the Freetown High Court, Justice Alusine Sesay, has threatened to discharge a fraud matter involving one Claudius Jones if by the next hearing no effort is made by the prosecution to proceed with the matter.
The prosecution has so far failed to present any witness to testify in the ongoing fraud matter in respect of onehundred and five million, six hundred thousand Leones (Le105,600,000), allegedly embezzled by the accused through deceit.
Speaking in court on Tuesday, 28 July when the matter was mentioned, Justice Sesay noted that it had been adjourned for more than 17 times with the prosecution failing to produce any witness to testify in the matter.
He thus threatened to dismiss the case and acquit the accused if by the next hearing the prosecution again fails to lead a witness, adding that the latter was indicted in December 2013 and has since been held in custody.
The judge at some point entertained the idea of releasing the accused on bail as he enquired whether he has relatives who can stand as sureties for him. The accused disclosed his parents reside at 14 Benjamin Lane in Freetown and were ready to serve as his sureties.
However, upon second thought, the learned trial judge considered that because of numerous adjournments the issue of bail was no longer going to be considered, rather he would dismiss the case for want of prosecution.
He reminded the prosecution that, “Continuous remanding of this accused in custody when witnesses are not forthcoming would not solve the problem but rather deteriorate his condition. It is for this reason I maintain that I am going to discharge the matter on the next adjournment date.”
The accused was arraigned on three counts of forgery, uttering a forged document, and attempting to commit a felony contrary to law, as the prosecution alleged that on a date unknown between 1 and 13 December 2013 in Freetown, Claudius Jones obtained through forgery, from one Zara Sahid, four 5.5KVA generators, 15 drums of spectrum paint, 25 gallons of sky shine oil paint, 10 rolls of 3029 twin cable, eight rolls of 7029 twin cable, and 10 dozens locks, totaling more than Le105 million.
The state prosecutor also alleged that the accused criminally attempted and succeeded in obtaining one 40KV generator, valued Le35,635,000, from co-complainant Alie Jouni, by falsely representing that he was a staff at the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), while also uttering and forging a cheque bearing the name of Rokel Commercial Bank.
Meanwhile, Justice Sesay ordered that the accused remains on remanded at the Pademba Road Male Correctional Centre until the adjourned date of 11 August.