M’baqui’s US$700,000 fraud trial:


‘Accused liquidity is more than what he is standing trial for’ - Defence tells court

January 18, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Defence lawyer in the US$700,000 fraud trial of Mohamed M’baqui and co-accused Mohamed Mansaray has in a bail application disclosed in court that the liquidity of the first accused is more than the amount he is alleged to have defrauded from an Indian businessman, adding that if granted bail the accused would not abandon his vast array of property and flee the jurisdiction.

Lansana Dumbuya last Friday made the bail application on behalf of both accused persons at the Freetown High Court presided over by Justice Alusine Sesay.
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He told the judge that the accused persons have respectable and credible sureties that are ready and willing to stand as sureties on their behalf.

He noted that the prosecution has presented all their witnesses, thus the accused persons could not interfere with the witnesses, although he was aware of the fact that the accused are standing trial for serious offences.

“My lord, we are ready to tender all liquidity of the accused to the court and…we are aware that the accused persons are standing trial for serious offences including false imprisonment, but they are all bailable offences, including murder,” submitted the defence counsel.

He called on the judge to also consider the length of time the accused persons have spent in custody to grant the bail application.

Prosecutor Monfred Sesay said he would reply to the bail application during the next hearing, which the judge fixed for 26 January. He added that because he had presented all his witnesses he would also be inclined to close his case.

Mohamed M’baqui and Mohamed Mansaray were arraigned in 2013 on 86 counts of conspiracy, fraud, false imprisonment and attempted murder.

State prosecutors allege that between 2012 and 2013 the accused persons duped Mohamed Malik Sariq, an India investor, the sum of US$700,000.