Sierra Leone anti-corruption body questions former president

SIERRA Leone’s former President Ernest Bai Koroma has been questioned in a secure location in connection with investigations into alleged corruption after his lawyer cited concerns over his safety, the anti-corruption commission said.

The case concerns alleged wrongdoing in connection with mining, construction and procurement contracts during Koroma’s 2007-2018 tenure.

Koroma denies the allegations, and has said corruption allegations are part of a long-running smear campaign.

This questioning is the latest move in a campaign by Koroma’s successor, President Julius Maada Bio, to investigate the previous administration that Maada Bio says took the country to the brink of economic collapse.

Last Thursday, the commission warned it could issue a warrant for Koroma’s arrest after he failed to comply with its summons. His lawyers said this was linked to concerns over his safety.

The interview has now taken place at a secure location and will continue at a later date, the anti-graft body said in a statement.

Koroma’s party, the All People’s Congress, said the interview was “conducted in a respectful, dignified and amicable environment.”

“The Chairman and Leader has always insisted on his willingness to be interviewed and his commitment to transparency and accountability,” the party said in a statement. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.