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TIMBERGATE…

Magistrate adjourns for more than one month

AUGUST 23, 2014 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

SACKED ... former Chief of Staff, Dr. Richard Konteh
SACKED … former Chief of Staff, Dr. Richard Konteh

Magistrate Komba Kamanda of the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.2 yesterday adjourned the ongoing timber case involving Alie Suma, Dr. Richard Konteh and Peter Crosby for more than one month.

The magistrate announced the adjournment date after Principal State Prosecutor, Monfred Sesay, told the court he didn’t intend to proceed with the matter, and in agreement with defence counsels, got consent from the presiding magistrate.

Suma, Dr. Konteh (former Chief of Staff at State House) and Crosby were arraigned on seventeen counts of conspiracy to defraud contrary to law, forgery, uttering forged documents, and willful evasion of export duty, contrary to section 77(c) of the Customs Act of 2011.

The trio are alleged to have conspired with others to defraud the state by evading payment of export duty to the tune of four billion, forty-five million, eight hundred and eight-two thousand and twenty Leones (Le4, 045, 882, 020.00).

Suma and Dr. Konteh are also accused of forging a letter titled, “Export of Value-Added Process Timber”, which purported to indicate an open-ended clearance to enable Suma to export value-added process timber.

Also, the prosecution alleges that Suma had evaded export duty to the value of four hundred and fifty-four million, five hundred and ninety-four thousand, seven hundred and seventy Leones (Le454,594,770) in respect of 69×20ft containers loaded with value added process timber for export.

The matter was adjourned to 23rd September.

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