From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Afsatu Kabba
In Sierra Leone, Anti Corruption Commission Begs Afsatu Kabba for Time
By Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Jun 18, 2010, 13:40

The Anti Corruption Commission prosecuting lawyers in the matter of The State versus Haja Afsatu Kabba, have yesterday June 17th 2010 begged the accused’s defence for their client to be patient with the ACC as the ACC needed to be given extra time to further prepare to bring their "major witnesses" to the courtroom.

Journalists yesterday turned up at the Courtroom to witness the testimony of the fifth out of a total of fifteen (15) expected witnesses, only to learn not a single witness was available to testify.

Mr. Calvin Mantsebo was earlier seen in a deep conversation with Defence Lawyer Foday Dabor but there was no sign of the other prosecuting lawyer Reginald S. Fynn in the courtroom. After a while, journalists observed as the other Defence Lawyers for Haja Afsatu Kabba joined the conversation between Mantsebo and Dabor and then all of them left the courtroom with Mantsebo only to return back in ten minutes later with the Defence Lawyers shaking their heads and muttering to each other.

Afsatu Kabba: Time will reveal the raw, raw truth for all to see!

No sooner the Judge walked in and the matter was called up than Lawyer Mantsebo stood up and said, "My Lord, I have already indicated to my Learned friends on the Defence that the witness I intended to call today is not available so also all the other major witnesses are none of them available. There is only one witness currently available to testify but he is a minor witness whose testimony will disturb the smooth flow of evidence led up to now. With your leave my Lord, I ask that the matter be adjourned to an agreed upon later date when I promise to ensure that the Major Witnesses will be available. I am proposing 24th June 2010 my Lord".

At this point, Haja Afsatu Kabba’s Lead Defence Counsel Blyden Jenkins-Johnston, stood up and stated that, "Having heard the prosecution’s plea for us to be patient, on behalf of our client, we are not opposed but we only hope that on 24th June we will have at least two to three of the eleven remaining witnesses so we can proceed speedily. We are not opposed to his application my Lord".

It will be recalled that the first three protected witnesses (PW2, PW3 and PW4) had given testimonies that seriously conflicted with each other. The last witness, PW4 who was cross-examined by Lawyer Yada Williams had given evidence that was sharply contradictory with even his own evidence in court, contradicted his own Statement to the ACC as well as totally contradicted earlier evidences given by the other two witnesses.

We will bring you transcripts of sections of these evidences in one of our next week editions. Haja Afsatu Kabba is facing charges for corruption-related offences. She vehemently denies every single one of the allegations levied against her.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.