The international human rights organization, Amnesty International, has lamented over official corruption in Sierra Leone.
In its latest Country Report on Human Rights Practices, Amnesty says “corruption in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches was common”, saying official corruption had been exacerbated by low salaries and a lack of accountability.
The report says since the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission in July 2000, about ten percent of the 560 cases investigated were charged to court. Of the 54 cases referred to court, 29 resulted in convictions.
It says six of the principal local witnesses in the Sierra Leone Ports Authority case did not testify because they had left the country, reportedly because they were either intimidated or bribed to do so.
The report says that case was the only corruption case involving high-level officials that was prosecuted in court during the year, adding that even though the head of state had continued to publicly support the ACC, some observers believed its investigations department was politicized, ineffective, and that there was a lack of political will to prosecute.
The report also addresses the area of freedom of information justice, and a host of other governance structures in the country.