The General Manager of the Radisson Blu Mama Yoko Hotel, Aberdeen, Nunes Neves on Wednesday tendered invoices at Court No.1 before Magistrate Binneh Kamara.
The General Manager tendered those invoices based on the accused, a Tunisian national, Hassine Benfrej allegedly incurring a debt of over one hundred and eighty million Leones.
“The matter came up on Tuesday but due to the absent of the defence council, I adjourned it for today in order for the defence team to be present whether the document should be allowed to be tendered or not,” the Magistrate averred.
Prior to the tendering of those invoices, the lawyer representing the accused, James Fornah raised an objection, which he based on three points, that “there is no nexus between the witness and any of those invoices, no foundation has been tabled before the court that this witness is the maker of this document, and also there is no section in those invoices bearing the name of the witness and therefore should not be allowed to be tendered,” he maintained.
Replying to the objection raised by the accused lawyer, the associate lawyer, I. Turay said “the objection lacks basis,” he said, citing the basic principle of the law of evidence, noting that as long as the document is relevant to the proceeding it must be tendered.
The associate lawyer also said that there is a lacuna regarding the defence objection, adding that the general manager is the appropriate person to tender such document.
According to Magistrate Binneh Kamara, though the document is unattested and bears no signature, there is relevant information in it and more so it seems it is the hotel normal way of issuing invoices. He allowed the document to be tendered and marked as evidence D1-20.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused between November 7, 2015 and February 25, 2016 at Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown incurred a debt or liability to Nuno Neves obtained credit to the amount of one hundred and eight two million, six hundred and seventeen Leones, twenty eight cent (182,674,717.28).
The accused was charged with one count of obtaining money under false pretence contrary to section 13(1) of the Debtors Act 1869 and the matter was adjourned to 11 April 2016.