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As Washington law firm writes Aljazeera Sorious Samura cries “I don’t have money”

Mr. Sorie Samura, (aka) Sorious Samura a former photographer of the Sierra Leone’s Broadcasting Service (SLBS), now known as the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Co, operation is in a state of perturb after being notified by an insider verbally in London that a Media Law Firm in the Washington District of Columbia has informed the Aljazeera, TV, Satellite and Cable News Network that the services of the Law Offices of Robert E.Levine, 1750 K-Street, N.W. Suite 350 has been retained by Mr. Momoh Konte to take legal action against the network for airing a defamatory story that has damaged the reputation of their client both locally and internationally, among its colleagues and business partners.

Initially, Mr. Samura treated the piece of information with levity, thinking that it was an empty bullshit until when the Law Firm sent a letter dated 10th January, 2012 to the Washington Bureau Chief of Aljazeera Satelite Network, c/o Amjad Atallah and copy also sent to Diarmuid Jeffreys of Aljazeera, 1 Knightsbridge London SW 1X, 7XW United Kingdom, that was the time he started treating the piece of information with seriousness. It would be recalled that among his colleagues that criticized him after the publication of the story captioned “Timber Trade in Sierra Leone” was Mr. Lansana Fofana of the British Broadcasting Service (BBC), who bashed and lashed at him and described him as dishonest. Mr. Fofanah further pointed out his journalist flaws, which he called a professional fraud and informed him that the publication has ignited maximum divide and debates.

As time went by, the Washington Law Firm reportedly dispatched an independent investigator to Freetown –Sierra Leone, whom sources at the Administrator and Registrar General’s Office say that one of the primary assignments of the investigator was to find out about procedures involved in the registration of a new business and the number of days it takes to register one. The basis was to discredit Mr. Samura’s documentary, which states that registration process takes days and time even when the money is available to carry it out. Another reason for his coming was to find out the distance between Mr. Momoh Konte’s office to that of the Vice President who was the target of the documentary.

As if the findings of the private investigator were not sufficient to convince the Law Firm, prior to accepting the brief and retainership of Mr. Konte, the Firm further contacted several legal practitioners in the country and obtained their legal position on the matter. On 26th December, 2011 an Attorney of the Law Offices wrote a letter to Lawyers Manley Spain and Macaulay, enquiring from them about legal procedures, company registration, and questions that bother on private consultancies, fees paid and a number of pertinent issues to enable the Firm build up its case against Aljazeera and Sorie Samura. Response received made him to conclude that the Law Firm has a good case and can now take up the matter without fear. All research and efforts put in by the Law Firm to arrive at the truth have turned Mr. Sorie Sumura’s happiness to sadness coupled with his present domestic predicament with his wife, Mariama Bundu who has almost reportedly deserted him for behaving in a rather unpatriotic manner.

The Documentary “Africa Investigates: Timber Trade in Sierra Leone” was broadcast over four times by the network, thus attracting large viewership that provoked protracted debates and conclusions by some sections of both the local and international public, others are still in a state of dissonance.

In the letter to Aljazeera, the Washington District Private Attorney has this to say “The allegations against Mr. Konte amount to false and unfounded accusations of corruption on his part, soliciting and obtaining bribes, influence-peddling, and attempts to illegally circumvent the laws of Sierra Leone guarding against the cutting and exporting of timber. The program, produced and narrated by Sorious Samura, purports to show individuals counting cash bribes and handing them over to Mr. Konte inside the Office of the Vice President of Sierra Leone in the presence of very senior police officers of the Sierra Leone Police Force to the Vice President Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana. That did not occur”

Meanwhile, on receipt of the letter from the Attorney, the Network has reportedly barred Mr. Sorious Samura from submitting any material for publication until the alleged case of defamation is proven otherwise. Mr. Sorie Samura, who is currently in a state of disillusionment, is quoted to say that if a private or civil action is filed against him alone it would be devastating to him considering his present position. However, he has offered to make a private apology to Mr. Konte, through the insider, but that has been turned down ‘If the broadcast was done publicly why come to apologize privately? Mr. Konte was quoted to have asked. Lawyer Levine has ordered Aljazeera not to destroy tapes, DVD’s CD’s and all items and contents connected with the timber story as they are considered crucial pieces of evidence when the trial kicks off in full, if no compromise is reached between lawyers for the Aljazeera networks and the Law Offices of Robert E. Levine

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