Sierra Leone’s deputy education minister accused of rape

Austin Thomas – Our Freetown Correspondent

The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 September 2013

One of president Koroma’s closest political allies in his government – the deputy minister of education, Mahmoud Tarawally, has been relieved of his duties, following his arrest by police on Tuesday, 10 September, after a school girl reported that she had been raped by the minister in his office.

The girl who has not been named by the police for legal reasons, is said to have sustained cuts and bruises during the alleged attack by the minister.

It is understood that the minister who has been helping the girl with her school fees, invited the girl into his office where the attack is said to have taken place.

Unconfirmed police report says that the minister is being detained at the Criminal Investigations Department, and will soon appear in court on charges of rape and grievous bodily harm.

Mahmoud-TarawallyEarly this year, minister Tarawally (Photo) escaped justice, many believed with the intervention of State House, after he was accused of taking part in one of the most scandalous corruption cases in the country’s recent history.

He and several other senior officials in the Koroma government were accused of embezzling almost $5 million donated by the Bill Gates Foundation, for the eradication of malaria, which kills thousands of young children in Sierra Leone every year.

Will minister Tarawally evade justice yet again, assuming the rape allegations are true?

A press release issued from the Office of the President, states that the Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Mahmoud Tarawali has been relieved of his duty with immediate effect, following the rape allegation made against him.

The release reads: “The general public is hereby informed that following allegations of sexual assault and rape against Mr. Mamoud Tarawali, deputy minister of education, science and technology, the police are conducting investigations pertaining thereto.

While the investigations continue, his excellency the president has relieved Mr. Tarawali of his duties as deputy minister with immediate effect”.

Mr. Tarawally was on Tuesday detained at the Criminal Investigations Department and refused bail, as he helps the Police with their investigations.