Freetown mayor faces jail over corruptionBy KEMO CHAM in Freetown | Saturday, August 11 2012 at 16:07
Freetown mayor Herbert George Williams’ high-profile corruption trial ended Friday with his conviction.
Mayor Williams and six co-accused were found guilty on two counts of corruption and procurement offences. High Court judge John Boco Katutsi ordered they be detained at the notorious Pademba Road prison pending sentencing on August 15.
The procurement charges related to a musical concert staged by Jamaican reggae band Morgan Heritage which cost the Freetown City Council tens of thousands of dollars.
The unpopular mayor of Sierra Leone’s capital city was indicted last November.
The indictment was seen to have major implications for key players.
For the incumbent president Ernest Bai Koroma, it was seen as a litmus test for his professed anti-corruption stance. He had repeatedly vowed that there was no sacred cow in his government.
The convicted mayor is a member of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) party, which has for a long time dominated the Freetown mayoral seat.
Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, a commissioner with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), described the verdict as “momentous.”
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