Salone News

COI: Prosecuting attorneys must up their game

17 May 2019 at 19:02 | 1248 views

The Prosecuting Attorneys at the commissions must up their game as COI resumes on May 20 2019 .

By Kortor Kamara, USA

The Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice prosecutors need to substantially up their prosecutorial game, if the goals of the Commissions of Inquiry, as enunciated by president Julius Maada Bio and expected by the country are to be achieved.

Just this morning, I was musing as to when the Commissions of Inquiry will be resuming, and whether the initial fervor and hope for a truly Judicial based accountability of public officials could be sustained, consistent with the get tough anti-corruption pronouncements of the president.

Most Sierra Leoneans are currently disillusioned with the lackadaisical and lackluster efforts and borderline malpractice performance by the government prosecutors during the first half of the commissions hearings.

The unpreparedness of the prosecuting team, their failure to timely file and serve witness statements, failure to produce relevant and requisite witnesses before the commissions, failure to subpoena and compel appearances by persons of interest, including the former president, ministers, deputy ministers, permanent secretaries and other vote controllers have all significantly caused a diminution of interest in the proceedings.

It is my considered opinion that, as the second half of the commissions of inquiry are scheduled to resume on May 20, 2019, the legal presentation to be brought before the COI and the nation at large needs to be targeted, succinct and probative on the part of the prosecuting attorneys.

Also, the targeted persons of interest, though represented by defense attorneys, need to be produced in front of the commissions of inquiry. The nation’s interest is not in the small fishes but the very big fishes, whose corruption caused the nation’s economic ruin. Evidence, if any exists against the identified persons of interest needs now to be brought and shown for all to see.