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Page added on June 26, 2012
At the close of the day’s proceeding on Monday June 25, Sorious Samura was not as comfortable as at the start of the day. Yesterday was the scheduled day for his cross examination and Momoh Konte’s lead attorney Manley-Spaine who pulled out all the stuffs.
When Sorious’s academic background as a journalist was put under the microscope, it came out clearly that he is not as qualified as he would want Sierra Leoneans to think. Sorious claimed that he was a Doctor of Letters in an attempt to bamboozle everybody in court. When he was told that what he was claiming was not really an academic qualification, he stood none-pulsed, wearing a sheepish smile. Upon further investigation, Sorious told the court he had no qualifications to lay claims, but his ‘O’ Level Certificate. He also claimed he went to a University in Leeds to study film making and editing but came out with nothing to show for his claim. The time he claimed he was at this university is clearly in question because in 1991 to 1992, Sorious was firmly based here in Freetown, running errands for Sonny Cole, a cameraman employed at the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Services. Once in a while, Sonny Cole would let Sorious use his camera to cover events for which he (Sonny) was commissioned. How Sorious managed to combine his errand-boy status with his Leeds University studies is one of many “montages” Sorious has built in his life.
When Manley-Spaine examined his evidence referencing the now infamous environmental activist that he used in his documentary, Sorious came out with one of his classical days. He claims that Abdul Sinah or is he really Abdul Bunduka, was introduced to him as such and he only got to know that in fact was the half brother of his wife only after the making of the documentary. What a cock and bull story. Sorious claims that Abdul Sinah is normally resident in Kono, no specific town, but in fact he was in Masingbin to help him make his documentary. One wonders how the activism of Abdul Sinah takes him out of Kono to pass judgment on events in the Tonkolili District where he is not normally a resident.
In truth, Abdul Bunduka (Sinah) could not take his brother-in Law Sorious to Kono because this is a District he hardly knows since his residence is here in Freetown. So it did not come as a surprise that upon further cross examination, Sorious admitted that he is a liar and that he lied at every stage to entrap the poor chief he paraded in his documentary as enemy number one of the forest of Sierra Leone. All his lies and calumny he justified by claiming that 90% of the forest of this land were destroyed and he was not going to stand idly by to let the remaining of 10% go. When he was asked if he knows whether there was a logging ban in place, at the time he was concocting his film for Aljazeera, he answered that he did not know. Sorious does not know that we use timber to build houses in the provinces. I am sure he imagines we import even the timber that we use for our local building from England.
Towards the end of the day, there was quite some examination in court when the Anti Corruption lawyers made an application to the seating judge to restrain the lead defence attorney for Mr. Momoh Konte from serving Sorious Samura with a criminal summons for libel and conspiracy to commit a felony, we saw the giggling, Sorious suddenly became serious as it became evident that the defence was bent on serving him the summons. The brilliance of the ACC lawyer was on full display as they employed everything in their powers to set the judge to rule in their favour. It so happened that the judge could not intervene as there was nothing before the court that would warrant his intervention. Sorious was speedily removed from the courtroom under his normal escort but a speed that warranted a speeding ticket from our traffic wardens just as to avoid being served the summons. The case was adjourned to today June 26, 2012.
In another development, the accused person in the ongoing timber documentary trial Mr. Momoh Kemoh Konte has filed a law suit against Sorious Samura, producer of the controversial strand, Africa Investigate – Corruption. The Aljazeera stringer was sued for defamatory Libel, contrary to Section 26 of the Public Order Act, 1965 (Act No. 46) and Conspiracy to commit a felony, to wit, libel.
As contained in the writ of Criminal Summons issued on the 22nd day of June 2012, in the judicial District of Freetown, Sorious is commanded in the state’s name to appear in person before a Magistrate Court on June 29, 2012 at 9:00 in the forenoon, and on every adjournment of the court until the case be disposed of.
The particulars of offence count one: Sorious Samura some time between the 30th day of October, 2011 and the 31st day of December 2011 at the Freetown Judicial District in the Western Area of Sierra Leone maliciously published a defamatory matter against the complainant, Momoh Konte to wit, “that Momoh Konte collected the sum of US$ 2000 from me [Sorious Samura] and my business partner/colleague in order to bribe the Vice President, Mr. Sam Sumana so that he can assist us trade in timber in Sierra Leone by lifting the ban on the export of timber for our company, Taybar Services”, knowing the same to be false.
Particulars of offence Count two: Sorious Samura, some time between the 30th day of October and the 31st day of December 2011 at Freetown in the Freetown Judicial District in the Western Area of Sierra Leone conspired with Anas Anas and other persons unknown to publish a defamatory matter against the complainant, to wit, “that Momoh Konte collected the sum of USD$2000 from me [Sorious Samura] and my business partner/colleague in order to bribe the Vice President, Mr. Sam –Sumana, so that he can assist us trade in timber in Sierra Leone by lifting the ban on the export of timber for our company, Taybar Services” knowing same to be false.
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