The trial of Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara and five co-defendants in the matter of the alleged misappropriation of funds allocated to the renovation of Sierra Leone United Nations Permanent Mission Chancery Building in New York, United States continues tomorrow Friday 1st April, 2022 at the Freetown High Court presided by Justice Adrian Fisher.

At the last adjourned sitting last Monday, Justice Fisher upheld an objection raised by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) prosecutor, Calvin Matsebo that has serious implication on the case filed by the ACC against the 4th defendant, Dr. Samura Kamara.

Defense Counsel, Ady Macauley representing Dr. Samura Kamara prayed the court to admin in evidence a document purported to be a ‘legal opinion’ produced by the Solicitor General of Sierra Leone as part of the defense of his client. The document was produced by Ady Macauley when cross examining the ACC’s Chief Witness, Joseph Bockarie Noah.

Matsebo responded that attempt to introduce the said document was a deviation from the procedures set out in the Criminal Procedure Act 1965.

He furthered that the defense wanted the court to accept as evidence a document whose authenticity and origin cannot be ascertained.

Justice Fisher’s ruling on the matter after asking for written submissions from the defense and the prosecution hinged on the fact that the ACC witness had no knowledge of the said document; and that the defense could not submit it as evidence as what they had in their possession was only a photocopy and not the original document which Justice Fisher pined out and only be tendered in court by the custodian, author or recipient; as required par law.

Justice Fisher explained that the 4th defendant, Dr. Samura Kamara, was changed into two counts of deceiving a principal, contrary to Section 43 of the ACC Act, 2018 and misappropriation of funds, contrary to Section 36(1) of the ACC Act, 2018.

During the examination, ACC Witness, Noah said at the time caution statements were obtained from the 2nd and 4th accused, they both referred to the said legal opinion document.

Justice Fisher however said the defense laid no foundation for the ACC witness to tender the said document as he was neither the author nor custodian, and has no knowledge of the said document.

In conclusion, Justice Fisher ruled that reviewing the evidence and the charges that the 4th accused faces, there was nothing in it that showed that the 4th accused was aware of the details of the purported legal opinion which, he said, was separate and distinct from his knowledge of the existence of the opinion itself. “I do not consider the document sought to be registered is relevant and subsequent admissible,” Justice Fisher stated.

According to Satellite Newspaper, the learned Judge ruled: “In the circumstances, and having reviewed the matter, I make the following findings:

  1. The legal opinion on the Solicitor General to the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation is inadmissible in these proceedings.
  2. There is no evidence before me that any of the accused persons let alone the 4th accused saw or acted upon or relied upon the contents of the purported legal opinion in the existence of the actions for which they stand indicted.
  3. The application by the defense to adduce secondary evidence of the content is dismissed for the reason given above.
  4. The objection by the prosecution is sustained.