From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, ACCís Witness Damns ACC Investigators
Jun 25, 2010, 17:08

Anti Corruption Commissionís fourth protected witness (PW5) in the matter of the State versus Afsatu Kabba, has yesterday June 24th 2010, answered Defence Lawyer Jenkins-Johnstonís question whether if the ACC produced a Statement supposedly made by him, in which it did not clearly state that he had said the embezzled 300 million leones funds were for State House, then the Statement would be a falsified Statement. He also denied ever stating to the ACC that the funds were for the personal use of Haja Afsatu Kabba.

"I said the funds were for the use of State House; if the Anti Corruption investigators wrote down in my Statement that the funds were for the personal use of the accused, Haja Afsatu Kabba, I donít think that is my fault. That will be the fault of the Anti Corruption Commission for writing down what I did not say to them!" PW5 loudly boomed over the Courtís microphones as journalists patiently wrote down his words.

In another development yesterday, after receiving a cogent lecture from Jenkins-Johnston Esq. on Sierra Leoneís Criminal Procedure Laws (CPA), the Chief Prosecutor Calvin Mantsebo Esq. threw a tirade inside the courtroom

"My Lord I strongly object to the manner in which the Defence Counsel has just addressed me. He could have corrected me without being abrasive. I consider his words just now to be an insult to me and uncalled for. He does not have to start attacking my personality and giving the impression that I donít know what I am doing!!!" Lawyer Calvin Mantsebo raged to which Lawyer Blyden Jenkins-Johnston, who had just lectured Mantsebo out of a state of ignorance about Section 190(2) of the CPA, responded, "My Lord, I am sorry that my learned friend Mr. Mantsebo feels offended but I must repeat my position that he stood up to try to counter my position on Section 190(2) without first reading the section or understanding the section he was freely referencing."

Upon the application being granted for the ACC to produce a copy of the Witness Statement, Calvin Mantsebo returned that he had no Witness Statement in his possession to give to the Court.

"I do not have any copy. They are locked up in my offices at the Anti Corruption Commission," Mantsebo told the Court.

"My Lord, the Witness Statement to the ACC totally contradicts what he has said in this courtroom and we really need to expose his contradictions. We really need to knock that one on the head but we cannot use a short-cut. We have to go by the Act. We must go by the Act so I am asking for this matter to be stood down for a few minutes to allow the Prosecution to get a copy of this Witnessí Statement from their offices" Jenkins-Johnston suggested.

A visibly furious Mantsebo then retorted that "I am unable to have proper access to my office. I do not have physical access to my offices at the Anti Corruption Commission. Let the Defence use from their copies we had earlier served on them," Mantsebo told the Honourable Judge to which Jenkins-Johnston returned that he could not hand over a copy of the Defenceís copy as it was not a clean copy and had comments and annotations all over it.

In a sarcastic tone of voice, Lawyer Calvin Mantsebo edged in a wry comment of "Amongst nine lawyers for this accused, they cannot find one clean copy?" to which Lawyer Fode Dabor also interjected a rapid sarcasm back at him by saying, "Maybe we also do not have access to our own offices!!".

Lawyer Jenkins-Johnston was clearly not amused when he stated to the Honourable Court as follows: "My Learned friend knew we would be needing the Statement of this Witness as we have applied for the Statements of all earlier witnesses so why did he not come with it to Court today?"

Eventually, in his wisdom, Hon. Justice Ademusu then adjourned the matter to 10:30am this morning when the ACC should produce a copy of PW5ís Statement made to them in order for the Defence to proceed with their cross-examination of PW5.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.