Sierra Leone invites foreign experts to help probe graftBy KEMO CHAM | Saturday, December 17 2011 at 20:39
The Sierra Leone government is seeking a ‘‘collaboration’’ with the US and other international graft busters to help investigate recent revelations of corruption by the Al Jazeera.
A documentary aired mid November by the network exposed corrupt timber deals involving top government officials. In response, the government promised full investigation into the matter but they have been delays.
To pressure for action in the corruption cases, 19 members of the US House of Representatives wrote a letter to the US Secretary of States Hilary Clinton, requesting the Obama administration to push the Sierra Leone government to conduct a ‘‘full and transparent’’ investigation.
‘‘These reports are very disturbing. Our relationship with Sierra Leone requires faith in the integrity of its leadership,’’ read part of the letter authored by the congressmen urging the US government to put pressure on the Sierra Leone government to act.
In an unusual press conference chaired by the Minister of Information and Communication on Friday, Freetown announced it was inviting the US and other international investigators ‘‘to give further credibility and integrity’’ to help deal with the alleged corruption cases.
The government official also said that Sierra Leone has already sent a letter to this effect to Secretary of State Clinton.
‘‘The Al Jazeera report came when policies were in place for the purposes of protecting the environment,’’ Information and Communication Minister, who is also official government spokesperson, Alhaji Ibrahim Kargbo, said.
‘‘We believe the Al Jazeera report was a wakeup call for us to further fast tracking those processes of protecting the environment,’’ he added.
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