April 15, 2015 By Patrick J. Kamara
Magistrate Tonia Barnett, presiding at the Pademba Road Magistrates’ Court No. 1, yesterday informed complainant Beach Samba John, a Senegalese, that his Le88 million case file had gone missing.
The file had been with the court since 2012 as preliminary investigations continue in the matter between the complainant and accused person Madicke Dioup. But the magistrate told the court she had not seen the file since she came back from England after a brief vacation.
Magistrate Barnett made the statement in her chamber after police prosecutor, Inspector Agnes Bangura, called the matter for hearing.
The magistrate’s clerk intimated that preliminary investigation into the matter had all but completed, with a committal to the High Court long overdue as the prosecution had closed their case.
However, the clerk revealed that just when the prosecution had closed their case earlier this year, defence counsel, I. Kanneh, had applied for the matter to be tried summarily, thus seeking to prevent a committal to the High Court.
The accused was charged with the offence of fraudulent conversion contrary to section 20(1) (4) (a) of the Larceny Act of 1916.
According to the prosecution, Madicke Dioup, a Senegalese businessman, fraudulently converted to his own use and benefit a 40ft container which was said to have been loaded with toiletries valued at Le88,700,000 on 31 July, 2012 at No. 15 Ogoo Lane, Brookfields, Freetown.
Concord Times was told that the accused had made part payment of Le14 million when the matter was being investigated at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Freetown.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Barnett assured both parties that she would do everything to retrieve the file, as she adjourned the matter to 17 April.