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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Hajj-Gate Trial Stalls

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Hajj-Gate Trial Stalls

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Defence for the first, second and third accused persons slightly differed to close the Prosecution case, but called on the Judge to grant an ‘unless order’ if the Prosecution fails to provide a witness on the next adjourned date. 

Lawyer Mantsebo however, reiterated that Nuru Deen Yilla, being the principal witness is hard to get but assured that he would do the necessary documentation for an additional witness on the next adjourned date. 

Justice Reginald Fynn after hearing the argument of the lawyers said if the Prosecution makes such request for more time, he would be minded to grant an “unless order.” 

Court records state that Nuru Deen Yilla was part of the 2017 Hajj Committee and one of three people the then president, Ernest Bai Koroma had ordered to leave the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and return to Sierra Leone to help with investigations. He was not indicted among other Hajj committee members but the ACC preferred using him as witness. 

Former vice president Victor Bockarie Foh was the supervisor of the Hajj Committee, Minkailu Mansaray former Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources – chair of the Hajj Executive Committee and Sheka Sahid Kamara Special Assistant to former President Ernest Bai Koroma – secretary for the committee. 

They were arraigned in August on eight count charges of conspiracy to commit a corruption, misappropriation of public funds and engaging in a project without prior planning. The matter comes up again.

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Milton Margai University graduates 400 students in hospitality sector

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