Sierra Leone's Anti-Corruption Commission to fight Isha Johansen acquittal

Isha Johansen and Philip Craven
Adrian Dennis - WPA Pool/Getty Images
The ACC will challenge the recent ruling of a High Court in Freetown to acquit Johansen on all counts of corruption

Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will fight the recent acquittal of Sierra Leone Football Association President Isha Johansen. 

The initial corruption charges against Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara were about an alleged misappropriation of US$50,000 given to the SLFA by Caf for covering costs of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tests on 30 players for the U17 team in 2014. 

Those charges were dropped after Justice Reginal Finn ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish their case against the duo and that there was no evidence before him to hold the accused culpable.

However, as reported by the BBC, the AAC will appeal the High Court’s decision. 

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“The Anti-Corruption Commission has filed ten (10) grounds Notice of Appeal in the Court of Appeals of Sierra Leone, against the judgment of the High Court of Sierra Leone,” the statement read. 

"Issues have been identified with the ruling that crucially requires review by the Court of Appeals, particularly in relation to the ingredients of the offence of misappropriation and the nature of evidence required to prove and establish it." 

The ACC will also let Johansen and Kamara continue in their roles as SLFA President and general secretary respectively in order to avoid a Fifa ban. 

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Electing to remove the pair from their posts after initial charges were filed and led to the governing body, Fifa suspending the nation due to outside interference. 

"It (the ACC) confirms that having concluded the trial it will not interfere with the continuance in office of the officials of the Sierra Leone Football Association pending the conclusion of the Appeal," the statement clarified.

The suspension - which made Sierra Leone ineligible for Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers - was consequently lifted after Johansen’s acquittal.