Analysis

Special Court: Ruling on Kabbah Imminent

3 May 2006 at 13:19 | 411 views

The Second Session of the defence phase in the trial of Chief Sam Hinga Norman, Moinina Fofana and Dr. Alieu Kondewa starts on Wednesday without its witness-in-chief, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Taking the stand in lieu of Kabbah will be former CDF Administrator and SLPP Secretary General for Kenema District, Arthur Koroma.

By Alfred Munda SamForay

The Second Session of the defence phase in the trial of Chief Sam Hinga Norman, Moinina Fofana and Dr. Alieu Kondewa starts on Wednesday without its witness-in-chief, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Taking the stand in lieu of Kabbah will be former CDF Administrator and SLPP Secretary General for Kenema District, Arthur Koroma.

Koroma, is expected to testify about logistical support for arms, ammunition and food to the CDF. He is also expected to tell the court about command and administrative structures of the CDF, alleged killings by the Kamajors in Kenema and President Kabbah’s visit to Lungi to strategize the war and the welfare of the Kamajors. Kabbah has persistently stated that he had no direct involvement in war plans or CDF command and control.

At the status conference held today, issues about the health of Mr. Norman as well as the problematic telephone system at the Detention Center where the twenty million dollar a year tribunal is unable to provide reliable communications between the indictees and their families surfaced. Norman, during his own testimony earlier this year stated that he was thrown into a cargo helicopter after his arrest with no seats. As a result, he may have incurred permanent injury to his hips and reportedly walks with a limp. The lack of adequate recreational facilities, lengthy detention as well as Mr. Norman’s age are a concern to family and supporters as the marathon trial enters into the fourth year. The CDF Defence Fund has repeatedly reminded the authorities in Freetown that the health and well being of all Sierra Leonean nationals presently held by the court are the sole responsibility of the court and the government of Sierra Leone.

At the status conference, the Chamber advised lawyers for the Defence that a ruling on the subpoena ad testificandum issued by Norman requiring President Kabbah(photo) to appear as a witness will be issued shortly. The defence witness list having being reduced to less than half of its original size, it is reasonable to assume that this session of the defece case will be the last, with or without President kabbah.

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