Salone News

Norman Versus SLPP

15 February 2006 at 07:37 | 437 views

By Alfred Munda SamForay

After nearly two months of hide and seek trying to keep President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah from testifying as a witness for the defence in the matter of Prosecutor versus Sam Hinga Norman, et al, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Fredrick Carew, finally appeared before the Trial Chamber of the special court for Sierra Leone this morning. Carew came to New England to show cause why his client and boss, President Kabbah, should not be subpoenaed to appear as a witness for Chief Hinga Norman. Carew’s apperance came as a result of an ultimatum by Trial Chamber President, Pierre Boutet, that Mr. Carew must appear before the court by today or the hearing will go on without him.

At issue is whether the constitution of Sierra Leone overrides the authority of the UN-backed tribunal in compelling Kabbah in his capacity as Head of State to appear as a witness before the tribunal. The Norman Defence argues that the statute of the court makes no provision of immunity for heads of state. Ironically, Mr. Carew himself had recently convinced the Sierra Leone Supreme Court that the special court has primacy over the Supreme Court and by implication is not subject to the constitution.

At the conclusion of both the defence and the Attorney General’s presentations, Mr. Carew wanted to know when the court will rule on the matter. The Chamber advised Mr. Carew that he had had more than adequate time to present his arguments and the Chamber will inform him when they are ready with the ruling. The matter was adjourned. As a result of Carew’s appearance, Defence Witness No. 3, former Vice President, Dr. Albert Joe Demby, did not appear today for his cross-examination by the prosecution. Demby is expected to appear on Wednesday.

Norman versus SLPP
Meanwhile, on the other end of town, arguments in the matter of Sam Hinga Norman versus SLPP, Jah, Saffa and Carew has been re-scheduled for Monday, March 20, 2006 on account of illness by one of the judges. The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone has been asked by former Regent Chief, Sam Hinga Norman, to decide whether the election, appointment or by whatever means of Solomon Berewa as Party Leader of the SLPP is constitutional under the various provisions of the Constitution of Sierra Leone. Norman seeks remedies including, but not limited to the nullification of the September 2005 SLPP Delegates’ Convention as well as to hold the said Solomon Ekuma Berewa personally in violation of the constitution for accepting the position of Party Leader while at the same time holding the office of Vice President of Sierra Leone. There again, the honourable Attorney General is defendant No. 3.

Photo: Sam Hinga Norman.

Photo credit: Sierra Leone web