Johansen pleads not guilty to corruption charges

Sierra Leone Football Association President Isha Johansen
Isha Johansen took charge of the Sierra Leone FA in 2013

Isha Johansen pleaded not guilty to corruption-related charges in a Freetown high court on Monday.

She was in court with Christopher Kamara, who also pleaded not guilty to the charges brought by Sierra Leone's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

The court appearance came five days after Johansen and Kamara were set aside from their respective positions as Sierra Leone FA (SLFA) president and secretary general.

Both were later released on bail.

Presiding judge Justice Reginald Fynn has adjourned the case until Wednesday.

The two officials were originally indicted on six-count charges but ACC commissioner Ade Macauley, the leading prosecutor in court, has increased these.

Johansen was handed seven counts on abuse of office and three joint counts with Kamara, who received only one separate count charge.

The charges relate to alleged misappropriation of donor and public funds, conspiracy to commit corruption offence and abuse of office.

Johansen pleaded not guilty to each of the counts read in the well-attended court.

All Johansen's individual charges relate to SLFA funds she allegedly used on several occasions to pay for travel expenses for her personal assistant Mohamed Ola Marah, who is not an employee of the football body.

Two of the three joint charges relate to alleged misappropriation of $50,000 given to the SLFA by the Confederation of African Football to cover costs relating to MRI tests for 30 players in the country's Under-17 team.

Both Johansen and Kamara were released on the same bail condition set by the ACC, amounting to some $65,000 apiece.

The duo were also asked to surrender their passports to the court.

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