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TIMBERGATE TRIAL…

Court orders sale of 199 20ft timber containers

December 11, 2015 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

Magistrate Komba Kamanda yesterday ordered the sale of 199 20ft containers of value added timber that was seized by the state from one of the co-accused persons in the timbergate trial for allegedly evading tax and defrauding the state of the sum of Le 4, 045, 882, 020 (four billion forty-five million eight hundred and eighty-two thousand and twenty Leones).

The order came after lawyer Roland Wright made an application a fortnight ago at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 that the magistrate allow the value added timber to be sold because it was depreciating in value after being kept in containers at the quay for more than a year now.

Magistrate Kamanda also ordered that the sale should be done by the Under Sheriff, supervised by the Acting Master and Registrar, and that each container cost $ 2000. He said that proceeds from the sales must be deposited into the account of the Master and Registrar’s for safe keeping until the matter is concluded.

Former State House Chief of Staff, Dr. Richard Konteh, Managing Director of Timber Harvesters, Processers and Exporters Sierra Leone Limited, Alie Suma, and Leslie Peter Crobsy, a customs officer were arraigned on seventeen count charges ranging from conspiracy to defraud the state, forgery and utttering of certain documents purporting them to be from the Office of the Chief of Staff giving clearance to export unlimited number of containers of valued added timbers, knowing the same to be false and with intent to defraud contrary to section 4(1) of the Forgery Act 1913.

Meanwhile, defence counsel Umaru Koroma, Ronald Wright, Pa Momoh Fofanah, and R. B. Kowa have indicated they would prepare a written no-case submission to the court after the prosecution led by Principal State Counsel, Monfred Sesay, closed his case.

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