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COCORIOKO » 2004 » March

Archive for March, 2004

Hinga Norman’s accounts frozen

Monday, March 29th, 2004

HINGANORMAN3

Monday March 29, 2004

The original order to freeze the assets of Sam Hinga Norman was contained
within the arrest warrant of 7 March 2003,  as follows:

“To identify and locate assets owned by the Accused located within
the territory of any State and adopt provisional measures to freeze
such assets without prejudice to the rights of third parties.”

The Prosecutor asked the Registrar to act on this on 16 February 2004. The
Registrar then wrote a letter to the Attorney-General and all banks in
Sierra Leone requesting accounts in the name of Sam Hinga Norman be frozen.

On 16 March, defence counsel drew to the attention of the Registrar that
his client could not obtain any money whatosever.

The Registrar responded immediately, requesting a financial plan from the
defence counsel for a workable solution for Mr Hinga Norman to obtain money
for his family.

The Registrar is still waiting to receive the financial proposal.

THE SPECIAL COURT AGREEMENT, 2002, (RATIFICATION) ACT, 2002:

PART V?ORDERS OF SPECIAL COURT
Orders of Special Court
20.  For the purposes of execution, an order of the Special Court shall
have the same force or effect as if it had been issued by a Judge,
Magistrate or Justice of the Peace of a Sierra Leone court.

Execution of orders
21. (1) Any person executing an order of the Special Court shall comply
with any direction specified in that order.

(2) Notwithstanding any other law, every natural person, corporation, or
other body created by or under Sierra Leone law shall comply with any
direction specified in an order of the Special Court.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), any person
executing an order of the Special Court shall deliver forthwith any books,
documents, photographs, tangible objects or other physical objects seized
during the execution of that order into the custody of the Special Court.

(4) If a person to whom an order of the Special Court is directed is
unable to execute that order, he shall report forthwith the inability to
the Special Court and give the reasons therefor.

Forfeiture orders of Special Court
22.  (1) When a forfeiture order issued by the Special Court is executed
and property, proceeds or assets are delivered to the State, the Minister
of Internal Affairs shall?

(a) if a use is specified in the forfeiture order, use the property,
proceeds or assets according to that use; or
(b) if no use is specified in the order, either?

(i) use the property, proceeds or assets for a purpose aimed at addressing
the consequences of the armed conflict in Sierra Leone between 1991 and
2002; or
(ii) sell such property, proceeds or assets as may be sold and deposit the
amount realised together with any money forfeited under the forfeiture
order into the War Victims Fund established pursuant to the Lome Agreement.

(2) The Minister of Internal Affairs shall make such regulations as are
necessary to give effect to subsection (1).

Peter C. Andersen
Deputy Chief of Press and Public Affairs,
Special Court for Sierra Leone

SIERRA LEONE HIGH COMMISSION PRESS RELEASE : Government accepts offer of settlement for chancery building

Tuesday, March 16th, 2004

33_Portland_Place (312 x 600)

SIERRA LEONE HIGH COMMISSION PRESS RELEASE

Subj:  33 Portland Place Judgement
Date: 3/16/04 3:59:32 AM Dateline Standard Time
PRESS RELEASE

 It will be recalled that in 2000 the Government of Sierra Leone commenced legal proceedings in London to recover the Chancery Building and premises housing the Sierra Leone High Commission at 33, Portland Place, London.  The initial action was against Edward Davenport and his Company, Capricorn Financial Investments and the former High Commissioner for Sierra Leone in London and Donald George who acted as legal Adviser to the High Commissioner.  The Government’s claim against the last two defendants was wholly abandoned because of the intervention of circumstances which rendered the discontinuance of the case against them advisable.  No further action is intended to be taken against these two defendants personally or against their estate.

 The Government has now accepted an offer from the other two defendants, Davenport and Capricorn, for the settlement of the matter out of court on terms which are acceptable to the Government.  As a result, a Consent Judgement was entered on the 15th March in the High Court in London and this brings the matter to an end with an award in excess of �800,000 (Eight Hundred Thousand Pounds sterling) being made in favour of the Government.

 The material terms of the Consent Judgement are given as follows:

 a)       The sum of �140,000 (One Hundred and forty thousand pounds sterling) paid by the Government as security for costs is to be paid back to the Government with all interests accrued on it.

 b)       The Defendants, Davenport and Capricorn, are to pay to Government �720,000 (Seven Hundred and twenty pounds sterling) as judgement sum.

 c)       The Defendants, Davenport and Capricorn are to pay the sum of �80,000 (eighty thousand pounds sterling) when the Government vacates Oxford Circus House No. 245 Oxford Street, London within six months of the date of the Consent Judgement.

 d)       The Government can use the premises at No. 245 Oxford Street as the Chancery for the London High Commission rent-free for a period of six months commencing from the judgement date.

 No Order was made as to costs on either side.

 It will be recalled that Government decided to commence this action as it did not accept the propriety relating to the transaction resulting in the assignment of the premises at No. 33 Portland Place to Edward Davenport and Capricorn Financial Investments.  Government’s position has now been vindicated by the outcome of the case.

 It will be recalled that Government’s original claim was for the repossession of the premises in question.  The position was abandoned and the terms of the settlement out of court were accepted having regard to –

 a.       The protracted period that the action would have taken if the original claim was pursued to its logical conclusion, and

 b.       The fact that the Government only had leasehold interest in that property which was to revert to the owner at the end of the lease.

 With the Judgement sum now available, Government will proceed to acquire appropriate freehold property to house the High Commission in London.

 


 

Maada Bio never intended to hand over power

Tuesday, March 16th, 2004
Interesting analysis of the coup situation by the VOA: 

DATE=1/17/96
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-32198
TITLE=SIERRA LEONE COUP / REACT
BYLINE=WILLIAM EAGLE
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO:  OBSERVERS ARE DEBATING THE REASONS FOR THE COUP TUESDAY
IN SIERRA LEONE.  COUP LEADERS JUSTIFY THE TAKEOVER AS A MEANS OF
PRESERVING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY.
CAPTAIN VALENTINE STRASSER WAS DEPOSED FROM THE PRESIDENCY.
WILLIAM EAGLE IN WASHINGTON SPOKE BY PHONE TO TWO SIERRA LEONEANS
WHO ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE PLOT.

TEXT:  ALL IS  NOT  WHAT IT SEEMS, ACCORDING TO NEW YORK BASED
NEWSPAPER EDITOR FODE KANDE.  THE HEAD OF THE SIERRA LEONEAN
PROGRESS PAPER CALLS THE OVERTHROW A PALACE COUP — PROBABLY
AGREED UPON BY GENERAL STRASSER AND HIS DEPUTY, BRIGADIER JULIUS
MAADA BIO.  MR. KANDE SAYS HE BASES HIS CONCLUSIONS ON BOTH
FORMAL AND INFORMAL SOURCES:

// OPT KANDE ACT //

A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF MINE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. — A TAXI
DRIVER —  SAID WHEN HE WAS DRIVING MAADA BIO AND
COLLEAGUES TO A CONFERENCE, HE OVERHEARD THEM SAYING
“NEVER MIND THESE PEOPLE HERE.  THEY ARE FORCING US TO
HAND OVER POWER [BUT] WE ARE GOING TO HOLD ON TO POWER
UNTIL WE ARE SATISIFED.”  IT WAS AFTER THEY HAD VISITED
THE STATE DEPARTMENT THEY MADE THAT REMARK.

// END ACT., END OPT //

FODE KANDE ALSO SAYS HE RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM A HIGHLY
PLACED SOURCE IN THE NATIONAL UNITY PARTY — A GROUP SAID TO BE
SUPPORTED BY THE MILITARY.

// KANDE ACT //

I GOT WIND OF THIS THING SUNDAY NIGHT.  I GOT A CALL
FROM FREETOWN SAYING SOMETHING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.  THE
PERSON SAID, “WHAT YOU WROTE IN YOUR EDITORIAL ABOUT A
PALACE COUP MAY COME TO PASS.  JUST WATCH OVER THE NEXT
DAY OR TWO. SOMETHING WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN.”

// END ACT //

MR. KANDE’S SOURCE TOLD HIM TENSION WAS RIFE WITHIN THE NATIONAL
PROVISIONAL RULING COUNCIL, THE N-P-R-C.  ITS MEMBERS WERE
DIVIDED OVER CAPTAIN STRASSER’S EFFORTS TO PARTICIPATE IN
FEBRUARY’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.  ULTIMATELY, CAPTAIN STRASSER
STEPPED ASIDE IN FAVOR OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, JOHN KARIMO.

OBSERVERS SAY THE N-P-R-C MAY ALSO BE DIVIDED BETWEEN THOSE WHO
WANT TO PURSUE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE REBEL REVOLUTIONARY UNITED
FRONT (RUF) — A POSITION SAID TO BE FAVORED BY CAPTAIN STRASSER
— AND THOSE WHO WANT TO PURSUE A MILITARY VICTORY OVER THE
R-U-F.  SOME OBSERVERS SAY THE NEW HEAD OF STATE, BRIGADIER
JULIUS MAADA BIO, IS AMONG THE HARDLINERS.

AMBROSE GANDA IS THE EDITOR OF FOCUS ON SIERRA LEONE — A MONTHLY
PUBLISHED IN LONDON.  HE IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE PRESSURE GROUP,
THE SIERRA LEONE NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT.  HE AGREES
THAT EVENTS IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO THE COUP BROUGHT TENSIONS
TO A HEAD WITHIN THE MILITARY.  MR. GANDA SPECIFICALLY MENTIONS
THE RECENT CONVENTION OF THE NATIONAL UNITY PARTY, THE N-U-P.

// GANDA ACT //

CAPTAIN STRASSER LAST SATURDAY INDICATED HIS INTENTION
TO [COMPETE FOR] THE PRESIDENCY OF THIS PARTY.  HE WAS
CONFRONTED BY ONE OF THE (CIVILIAN) N-P-R-C MEMBERS —
MR. JOHN BENJAMIN.  HE PROTESTED THAT CAPTAIN STRASSER
HAS BEEN THE VERY FIRST PERSON GIVEN THE OPTION TO
CONTEST THE ELECTION, BUT HAD [ALREADY] TURNED IT DOWN.
[MR. BENJAMIN REPORTEDLY TOLD CAPTAIN STRASSER] IT WAS
UNFORTUNATE HE [WOULD] RE-OPEN THE MATTER AT THIS STAGE.
THERE WAS A STALEMATE THERE,  AND I KNOW MR. BENJAMIN
WAS SUPPORTED BY THE N-P-R-C  AND SOME TOP MILITARY
OFFICERS.

// END ACT //

AMBROSE GANDA SAYS THERE MAY ALSO BE REGIONAL INFLUENCES IN THE
COUP.  HE SAYS THE EFFORT OF THE MILITARY TO BACK THE NATIONAL
UNITY PARTY IS REMINISCENT OF THE SITUATION IN GHANA.  THERE,
FORMER MILITARY OFFICER JERRY RAWLINGS —  SUCCESSFULLY RAN FOR
PRESIDENT AS A CIVILIAN A FEW YEARS AGO.  MR. GANDA SAYS GHANA
MAY HAVE AN INFLUENCE IN THE POLITICS OF SIERRA LEONE.

// OPT GANDA ACT //

MY SOURCES HAVE TOLD ME THAT THERE IS A STRONG [LINK]
BETWEEN [THE NEW HEAD OF STATE] JULIUS MAADA BIO — AND
THE HEAD OF GHANAIAN SECURITY, KOJO SIKATA.  THE SAME
SOURCES TELL ME SOME OF MAADA BIO’S CHILDREN ARE STAYING
WITH KOJO SIKATA IN GHANA.  SO, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE WAY
GHANA WAS TRANSFORMED [FROM MILITARY TO CIVILIAN RULE],
I THINK THE SAME THING IS ABOUT TO REPLICATED IN SIERRA
LEONE.
EAGLE:  ARE YOU SAYING THAT THE PRESIDENT OF GHANA IS
BEHIND THIS?
GANDA:  MY SOURCES HAVE  NOT  NAMED THE PRESIDENT OF
GHANA.  BUT GHANA HAS BEEN MENTIONED — WITH EMISSARIES
SEEN AROUND FREETOWN CARRYING OUT ACTIVITIES ON BEHALF
OF N-P-R-C.  ONE OR TWO OF THE IDEOLOGUES OF JERRY
RAWLINGS ARE IN SIERRA LEONE, ADVISING THE N-P-R-C ON
HOW TO CIVILIANIZE THEIR ACTIVITIES.  IT’S JUST A WAY OF
FACILITATING THE ELECTION OF A SO-CALLED CIVILIAN
GOVERNMENT SYMPATHETIC TO THE SOLDIERS.

// END ACT., END OPT //

AMBROSE GANDA SAYS HE IS AGAINST ELECTIONS IN FEBRUARY.  HE SAYS
HIS GROUP — THE SIERRA LEONE NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT–
SUPPORTS ELECTIONS.  BUT  NOT  BEFORE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A
GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY AND A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT TO THE
COUNTRY’S CIVIL WAR.  (SIGNED)

AFR/WE/CF

17-Jan-96 12:31 PM EST (1731 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America


————————————————————————
Olufemi Anthony                                   “Without struggle…
femi…@ritz.mordor.com                           there is no progress…”
http://www.mordor.com/femibyte                     Frederick Douglas
————————————————————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting analysis of the coup situation by the VOA: 

DATE=1/17/96
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-32198
TITLE=SIERRA LEONE COUP / REACT
BYLINE=WILLIAM EAGLE
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO:  OBSERVERS ARE DEBATING THE REASONS FOR THE COUP TUESDAY
IN SIERRA LEONE.  COUP LEADERS JUSTIFY THE TAKEOVER AS A MEANS OF
PRESERVING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY.
CAPTAIN VALENTINE STRASSER WAS DEPOSED FROM THE PRESIDENCY.
WILLIAM EAGLE IN WASHINGTON SPOKE BY PHONE TO TWO SIERRA LEONEANS
WHO ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE PLOT.

TEXT:  ALL IS  NOT  WHAT IT SEEMS, ACCORDING TO NEW YORK BASED
NEWSPAPER EDITOR FODE KANDE.  THE HEAD OF THE SIERRA LEONEAN
PROGRESS PAPER CALLS THE OVERTHROW A PALACE COUP — PROBABLY
AGREED UPON BY GENERAL STRASSER AND HIS DEPUTY, BRIGADIER JULIUS
MAADA BIO.  MR. KANDE SAYS HE BASES HIS CONCLUSIONS ON BOTH
FORMAL AND INFORMAL SOURCES:

// OPT KANDE ACT //

A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF MINE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. — A TAXI
DRIVER —  SAID WHEN HE WAS DRIVING MAADA BIO AND
COLLEAGUES TO A CONFERENCE, HE OVERHEARD THEM SAYING
“NEVER MIND THESE PEOPLE HERE.  THEY ARE FORCING US TO
HAND OVER POWER [BUT] WE ARE GOING TO HOLD ON TO POWER
UNTIL WE ARE SATISIFED.”  IT WAS AFTER THEY HAD VISITED
THE STATE DEPARTMENT THEY MADE THAT REMARK.

// END ACT., END OPT //

FODE KANDE ALSO SAYS HE RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM A HIGHLY
PLACED SOURCE IN THE NATIONAL UNITY PARTY — A GROUP SAID TO BE
SUPPORTED BY THE MILITARY.

// KANDE ACT //

I GOT WIND OF THIS THING SUNDAY NIGHT.  I GOT A CALL
FROM FREETOWN SAYING SOMETHING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.  THE
PERSON SAID, “WHAT YOU WROTE IN YOUR EDITORIAL ABOUT A
PALACE COUP MAY COME TO PASS.  JUST WATCH OVER THE NEXT
DAY OR TWO. SOMETHING WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN.”

// END ACT //

MR. KANDE’S SOURCE TOLD HIM TENSION WAS RIFE WITHIN THE NATIONAL
PROVISIONAL RULING COUNCIL, THE N-P-R-C.  ITS MEMBERS WERE
DIVIDED OVER CAPTAIN STRASSER’S EFFORTS TO PARTICIPATE IN
FEBRUARY’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.  ULTIMATELY, CAPTAIN STRASSER
STEPPED ASIDE IN FAVOR OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, JOHN KARIMO.

OBSERVERS SAY THE N-P-R-C MAY ALSO BE DIVIDED BETWEEN THOSE WHO
WANT TO PURSUE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE REBEL REVOLUTIONARY UNITED
FRONT (RUF) — A POSITION SAID TO BE FAVORED BY CAPTAIN STRASSER
— AND THOSE WHO WANT TO PURSUE A MILITARY VICTORY OVER THE
R-U-F.  SOME OBSERVERS SAY THE NEW HEAD OF STATE, BRIGADIER
JULIUS MAADA BIO, IS AMONG THE HARDLINERS.

AMBROSE GANDA IS THE EDITOR OF FOCUS ON SIERRA LEONE — A MONTHLY
PUBLISHED IN LONDON.  HE IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE PRESSURE GROUP,
THE SIERRA LEONE NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT.  HE AGREES
THAT EVENTS IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO THE COUP BROUGHT TENSIONS
TO A HEAD WITHIN THE MILITARY.  MR. GANDA SPECIFICALLY MENTIONS
THE RECENT CONVENTION OF THE NATIONAL UNITY PARTY, THE N-U-P.

// GANDA ACT //

CAPTAIN STRASSER LAST SATURDAY INDICATED HIS INTENTION
TO [COMPETE FOR] THE PRESIDENCY OF THIS PARTY.  HE WAS
CONFRONTED BY ONE OF THE (CIVILIAN) N-P-R-C MEMBERS —
MR. JOHN BENJAMIN.  HE PROTESTED THAT CAPTAIN STRASSER
HAS BEEN THE VERY FIRST PERSON GIVEN THE OPTION TO
CONTEST THE ELECTION, BUT HAD [ALREADY] TURNED IT DOWN.
[MR. BENJAMIN REPORTEDLY TOLD CAPTAIN STRASSER] IT WAS
UNFORTUNATE HE [WOULD] RE-OPEN THE MATTER AT THIS STAGE.
THERE WAS A STALEMATE THERE,  AND I KNOW MR. BENJAMIN
WAS SUPPORTED BY THE N-P-R-C  AND SOME TOP MILITARY
OFFICERS.

// END ACT //

AMBROSE GANDA SAYS THERE MAY ALSO BE REGIONAL INFLUENCES IN THE
COUP.  HE SAYS THE EFFORT OF THE MILITARY TO BACK THE NATIONAL
UNITY PARTY IS REMINISCENT OF THE SITUATION IN GHANA.  THERE,
FORMER MILITARY OFFICER JERRY RAWLINGS —  SUCCESSFULLY RAN FOR
PRESIDENT AS A CIVILIAN A FEW YEARS AGO.  MR. GANDA SAYS GHANA
MAY HAVE AN INFLUENCE IN THE POLITICS OF SIERRA LEONE.

// OPT GANDA ACT //

MY SOURCES HAVE TOLD ME THAT THERE IS A STRONG [LINK]
BETWEEN [THE NEW HEAD OF STATE] JULIUS MAADA BIO — AND
THE HEAD OF GHANAIAN SECURITY, KOJO SIKATA.  THE SAME
SOURCES TELL ME SOME OF MAADA BIO’S CHILDREN ARE STAYING
WITH KOJO SIKATA IN GHANA.  SO, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE WAY
GHANA WAS TRANSFORMED [FROM MILITARY TO CIVILIAN RULE],
I THINK THE SAME THING IS ABOUT TO REPLICATED IN SIERRA
LEONE.
EAGLE:  ARE YOU SAYING THAT THE PRESIDENT OF GHANA IS
BEHIND THIS?
GANDA:  MY SOURCES HAVE  NOT  NAMED THE PRESIDENT OF
GHANA.  BUT GHANA HAS BEEN MENTIONED — WITH EMISSARIES
SEEN AROUND FREETOWN CARRYING OUT ACTIVITIES ON BEHALF
OF N-P-R-C.  ONE OR TWO OF THE IDEOLOGUES OF JERRY
RAWLINGS ARE IN SIERRA LEONE, ADVISING THE N-P-R-C ON
HOW TO CIVILIANIZE THEIR ACTIVITIES.  IT’S JUST A WAY OF
FACILITATING THE ELECTION OF A SO-CALLED CIVILIAN
GOVERNMENT SYMPATHETIC TO THE SOLDIERS.

// END ACT., END OPT //

AMBROSE GANDA SAYS HE IS AGAINST ELECTIONS IN FEBRUARY.  HE SAYS
HIS GROUP — THE SIERRA LEONE NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT–
SUPPORTS ELECTIONS.  BUT  NOT  BEFORE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A
GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY AND A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT TO THE
COUNTRY’S CIVIL WAR.  (SIGNED)

AFR/WE/CF

17-Jan-96 12:31 PM EST (1731 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America


————————————————————————
Olufemi Anthony                                   “Without struggle…
femi…@ritz.mordor.com                           there is no progress…”
http://www.mordor.com/femibyte                     Frederick Douglas
————————————————————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLPP -UK Problems remain unsolved

Friday, March 12th, 2004

The Sierra Leone People’s Party UK /Ireland Branch did not solve its problems after all, COCORIOKO  can authoritatively report. We have received three letters from contending parties which gave clear signs that the branch remains torn by conflict and feuds.

ambassador sulaiman tejan jalloh (200 x 255)

AMBASSADOR SULIMAN TEJAN-JALLOH  SOLVED NOTHING

Read  letters 1, 2 and 3 from the contending parties ( In the order they were received )

LETTER 1 FROM MOIJUEH KAI-KAI FOR  THE NEW EXECUTIVE

UK & IRELAND BRANCH ELECTS NEW EXECUTIVE

By: Moijueh E. KaiKai

(Publicity and Propaganda Secretary)

The two-week debate and petition over the UK Branch elections result has now
been resolved through the personal intervention of His Excellency the High
Commissioner, Alhaji Sulaiman Tejan-Jalloh. It has been a hectic fortnight
for the High Commissioner, who has been in consultation with various members
of the branch party, particularly the council of elders, in an effort to
reach an amicable agreement that would be seen as not only fair, but also to
enable all parties to view the process as a win – win situation.

The central point of the agreement is that the elections conducted on May
30th 2004 has now been recognised as they were declared free, fair and in
accordance with the branch party’s rules and regulations (constitution), but
other members of the party who felt aggrieved and petitioned the conduct of
those elections will also be brought on board as vice chair, deputy
secretary general and ex-officio members (to be nominated by the out-going
Chairman, Mr. Jonjo) into the governance of the branch executive as part of
the process of reconciliation.

The new executive will be headed by the charismatic and respectable Mr.
Tamba Lamina, whilst the former Chairman, Mr. Samuel Jonjo will now join the
Council of elders.

Commenting on the agreement brokered by His Excellency the High
Commissioner, the out- going Chairman paid tribute to the effort of the High
Commissioner for his timely intervention in the crisis. Mr. Jonjo recalled
the progress made under his leadership, and expressed the hope that the
incoming executive would be in a better position to carry out their work
because they had the opportunity to have a point of reference in the sense
that a proper filing system was now in place. He promised to formally hand
over to the next administration as soon as all the practical arrangements
have been concluded.

The new Chairman also thanked the High Commissioner for his painstaking
efforts in brokering the agreement, and assured all present that his
administration would work towards the unity and progress of Sierra Leone and
the SLPP. Mr Lamina also thanked the elections committee, council of elders
and his campaign team.

In presenting the agreement to a jam-packed meeting of SLPP supporters at
the Sierra Leone High Commission in London on Sunday 13 June 2004, the High
Commissioner stressed the need for unity and discipline, which he described
as prerequisites for the development of any organisation. He paid a special
tribute to the sacrifices and selflessness of the out going chairman, and
called on the incoming executive to take special note of the mistakes that
happened during the previous branch administration. The High Commissioner
underscored the point that “the SLPP UK branch was a branch, and as a
branch, they were responsible to the national Party”.

Amongst those who attended the ceremony were the Chairman Council of elders,
Mr. John Sorbah-Green as well as other members of the Council of elders,
traditional leaders, and Dr. George Komba Kono who attended as an observer.

All party members in the UK are grateful  to His Excellency the High
Commissioner, as this is not the first time he has come to the rescue of the
branch. This can only prove the love and dedication he has for SLPP. Once
more the branch has proven that it can live up to its slogan ‘One country
One People’.

_________________________________________________________________
LETTER NO.2 FROM THE HEAD OF THE NORTHERN WING OF THE PARTY

Kabs,

I am sorry to have kept you in the dark about developments in this Branch
Party for the past one week. The very uncertain nature of the conclusions
and recommendations from the Reconciliation Meeting at the Sierra Leone High
Commission in London on the 13th June 2004 required time for realistic
appraisal in terms of success or failure. Such evaluation or appraisal has
now been given the required timing because at a meeting of a representative
cross-section of the disenfranchised majority of this Branch Party last
night ( 19th June 2004 ), it was unanimousy agreed that High Commissioner
Sulaiman Tejan Jalloh’s recommendations needed amendments in order to gain
acceptability with the majority of members of this Branch Party.

Rest assured that details of all these documents and all matters apertaining
will be e-maied to you in due course by Ex-Chairman Jonjo.

Thanks

Abdul Kargbo Jr ( alias “Presidon” ).

———————————————————

LETTER NO.3 FROM  THE OUTGOING CHAIRMAN, SAMUEL JONJO

Kabs,
I’m sorry about the delay but please accept a full report about what
transpired at the Sierra Leone High Commission-sponsored negotiations
regarding the recent dispute within the SLPP UK & Ireland Branch. Contrary
to what you may have read from “The Sierra Herald” the outcome of these
negotiations are far from crisp and dry. As you read on please take note of
the following :
1.    His Excellency the High Commissioner refused to let the parties to
the dispute agree ground
rules for the Reconciliation Meeting. So whatever transpired at
that meeting of the 13th
June was purely the discretion and personal decisions of His
Excellency.  ( See Page1, Par3).
2.    The High Commissioner unilaterally and arbitrarily refused to
countenance suggestions for
an Interim Executive Committee of this Branch Party. ( See Page
4, Par4 and Page 5 Par6).
3.     Included in the High Commissioner’s Adjudicating Team were two of
the key disputants from
one of the two disputing groups–“Justice is not served when a
man is made to sit in
adjudication over a matter in which he has partisan interest.
Page 6, Par2 and Page10 Par4)
To conclude and to contradict the High Commissioner’s Statement, “it was an
imperfect situation made more imperfect by flawed negotiations.” Thanks man.
Speak to you later. Jonjo.

_________________________________________________________________

Press Release From The Hinga Norman Defence Committee

Wednesday, March 10th, 2004

HINGANORMAN4

Hinga Norman

BE IT KNOWN TO ALL THAT we have received with disbelief news of the arrest
of people peacefully demonstrating today 10th March 2004 in Freetown in
support of Chief Sam Hinga Norman and other detained Heroes of our Country.

We wish to condemn in no uncertain terms, this shameful action on the part
of the authorities in Sierra Leone. We view this action as an infringement
on the Constitutional and democratic right of all Sierra Leoneans to
assemble and demonstrate peacefully.
This action employed by the authorities in Sierra Leone today brings into
question their commitment and belief in genuine democratic principles and
the rule of Law.

It is regrettable that a government in whose cause thousands of our
compatriots perished is today acting in ways that can only be  reminded of
previous despotic regimes of the AFRC/RUF we thought we had jettisoned.

We want the international Community to make it abundantly clear to the
Sierra Leone government that their behaviour is unacceptable, and for them
to understand that they bear the fullest responsibility for the safety of
those peaceful citizens whose democratic rights have today been trampled
upon.
We further call on the Sierra Leone government to immediately release all
those who have been arrested.

Finally, we wish to express solidarity with our compatriots who have
summoned the courage and patriotic stand by coming out to show their support
for Chief Sam Hinga Norman and other detained war heroes.

 

 

Harold Bundu Saffa
(Secretary).

_______________________________________________________________

Statements by President Tejan Kabbah and 2 others at opening of new Special Court Courthouse

Wednesday, March 10th, 2004

TEJANKABBAH5

STATEMENT
By
HIS EXCELLENCY
ALHAJI DR. AHMAD TEJAN KABBAH
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE

At the formal opening of the
Courthouse
For the Special Court for
Sierra Leone

On

Wednesday, 10th March, 2004

 

Honourable Vice-President
Mr Hans Corell, Under Secretary-General for Legal Affairs,
President and Honourable Members of the Special Court,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

1. Throughout its history, Sierra Leone has scored a number of “firsts” in West Africa, in the rest of the Continent, and even in the world. These range from the establishment of the first institution of higher education in Africa south of the Sahara, and the first wired public broadcasting service in West Africa, to the issuance of the first free-form self-adhesive postage stamp in the world, and having produced the first African to receive the prestigious accolade of Knighthood in what was once the British Empire.

2. Now, Sierra Leone is scoring another ‘first’. It is making history in international humanitarian law, specifically in the area of transitional justice. It has become the first country to establish an independent mixed court to bring to justice persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law and national criminal law. And not only that, the seat of the mixed court is within the territory of the country where the alleged crimes were committed. The nomenclature ‘Special Court’ is therefore appropriate. The formal opening of these premises could also be described as a special occasion. I am therefore grateful to you Mr Justice Robertson, President of the Court, for the invitation to be present at this ceremony as the guest of honour, and to formally open the Courthouse.

3. While we take pride in the establishment of this unique institution, and while we applaud the quality of cooperation between the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations, we cannot help but recall with deep sorrow the extraordinary circumstances that prodded us to pursue this uncharted course in the administration of justice. Never in the history of this country and of West Africa have we experienced horrendous brutality against innocent civilians on such a scale. Those acts tarnished the image of Sierra Leone, a small but peaceful, friendly and enlightened nation.

4. This notwithstanding, and long before the UN Security Council adopted resolutions stressing the need to talk to the rebels and try to end the war peacefully, and long before we were persuaded to negotiate with those who had committed heinous acts of brutality and terrorism against our people, my Government had already initiated a series of dialogue with the leader of the rebel movement. We concluded two peace agreements with him, gave him and other members of his movement cabinet and high-ranking positions. We went further to grant them the most profound and generous consideration one could imagine, namely amnesty. And lest we forget, Foday Sankoh also received absolute and free pardon under Section 63 of the Sierra Leone Constitution.

5. Mr President of the Special Court, it is relevant on this occasion to recall the judicial, moral and political risks that we took five years ago when we allowed the rebel leader Corporal Foday Sankoh, to leave this jurisdiction so that he could travel to Lom� for peace talks, even though he had been convicted, sentenced and was waiting to have his conviction reviewed by the Sierra Leone Court of Appeal. It was an unprecedented decision, one that apparently escaped the attention of the international community including the international media. The people of Sierra Leone were apprehensive that Foday Sankoh would never return to Sierra Leone to face justice.

6. However, yearning for peace, they gave me their overwhelming support, and Foday Sankoh, a convicted man, travelled out of this jurisdiction.

7. We all know what happened after Lom�. How can anyone forget the events of May 2000, less than a year after the Lom� Peace Agreement, when impunity raised its vicious head once again on an already traumatized population?

8. Mr President of the Special Court, what happened in Sierra Leone was not just an internal issue. It was not, as some erroneously described it, a civil war. It was, as I have always maintained, a war of aggression aided, abetted and fuelled by networks of ruthless merchants of illegal diamonds and illegal arms. By virtue of their acts, they were merchants of death and destruction. We were relieved when the Security Council subsequently acknowledged the international and regional dimensions of the conflict and determined that the situation was a threat to international peace and security. Therefore the suffering of the people of Sierra Leone became a matter of concern to people everywhere, to humanity as a whole. As I told the UN Secretary-General in my historic letter of 12 June, 2000, and I quote:

9. “I believe that crimes of the magnitude committed in this country are of concern to all persons in the world, as they greatly diminish respect for international law and for the most basic human rights. It is my hope that the United Nations and the international community can assist the people of Sierra Leone in bringing to justice those responsible for those grave crimes.”

10. So, this is a Special Court for Sierra Leone, a symbol of the rule of law and an essential element in the pursuit of peace, justice and national reconciliation for the people of Sierra Leone. It is also a Special Court for the international community, a symbol of the rule of international law, especially at a time when some State and non-State actors are increasingly displaying, shamelessly, contempt for the principles of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law. This Special Court is good for Sierra Leone. It is also good for the world today. It will certainly contribute to the jurisprudence of international humanitarian law, and enhance the promotion and protection of the fundamental rights of people everywhere.

11. Without the cooperation of the United Nations, the international community and the Government and people of Sierra Leone there would have been no Special Court. This is why I should like to take this opportunity to express sincere thanks, first to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He responded expeditiously to my request, and the Security Council gave him only thirty days to come up with a plan based on my proposal for the creation of an independent special court. Our thanks also go to the States and organizations that have made financial and other contributions to the Court, and to members of the Management Committee for their support and oversight function. I am delighted to see their representatives present at this ceremony.

12. Let no one underestimate the formidable task and challenge that this “hybrid” institution faces and will continue to face in its lifetime. The entire world, especially the people of Sierra Leone, would be watching its proceedings, carefully. The Court must see that justice is done. It must also, as far as possible, by its proceedings and judgements, dispel any notion that it is a political tool of a particular government or group of States. This is crucial to its success because of perceptions and misperceptions about the so-called “thin line” between politics and the administration of justice on the one hand, and international politics and international law on the other.

13. On the issue of its independence and credibility the Security Council in its resolution 1315(2000) of 14 August 2000, correctly emphasized the importance of ensuring the impartiality, independence and credibility of the judicial process of the Special Court, in particular with regard to the status of the judges and the prosecutors.

14. In this connection, I would like to assure you Mr President that we have absolute confidence in the competence and integrity of all those who have been appointed to serve in the Chambers and Registry of the Court. I would also like to commend you for the effective sensitisation programme that is being conducted throughout the country. The programme is a necessary acknowledgement of the fact that (a) this particular mechanism of accountability is new to the people of Sierra Leone, and (b) it has emerged almost concurrently with the proceedings of the transitional justice mechanism embodied in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

15. I would strongly recommend that the Court continue, and even strengthen the sensitisation or public information programme. We note with interest recent improvements in accessibility to information on the Court’s internet website. Further improvements would ensure that the Court’s external constituencies are also kept fully and reliably informed about the activities of this new institution in international humanitarian and human rights law.

16. Mr President of the Special Court, I would like to reassure you that the Government of Sierra Leone is fully committed to the success of this Court, and will continue to cooperate with its organs at all stages of the proceedings, in accordance with Article 17 of the Statute. Such cooperation is in the interest of the people of this country, in particular the victims of the atrocious crimes that the Court has been empowered to try.

17. I would like to commend the architects who designed this impressive structure, and the builders, workers and all those who in one way or the other were recruited to lend a hand so to speak in the construction of the building within such a short time. The fact that the proceedings of the Special Court will be conducted in a spacious and relatively comfortable working environment should enhance its overall efficiency.

18. At the end of its mandate the Special Court will leave a legacy in the annals of the administration of justice in Sierra Leone and in the international community. It will also bequeath to the people of Sierra Leone a citadel of justice in the form of this beautiful courthouse.

19. I have the honour to now formally declare open the new home of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

I thank you all.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE FOR THE OPENING OF THE BUILDINGS
OF THE SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE
Freetown, 10 March 2004

Delivered by Mr. Hans Corell,
Legal Counsel of the United Nations

I attach the utmost importance to the work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Its existence reaffirms two fundamental points: first, that those who commit or authorize serious violations of international humanitarian law are individually responsible and accountable for their crimes; and second, that the international community will exert every effort to bring them to justice in accordance with international standards of justice, fairness and due process of law.

The Special Court is the first of its kind, in that it was established by an agreement between the United Nations and Sierra Leone, at the request of the Security Council and the Government of Sierra Leone. It is a joint endeavour, in which judges appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone, other Sierra Leonean lawyers and Sierra Leonean local staff have been working side by side with international judges and an international prosecutor and registrar.

At the heart of this partnership is the belief, held firmly by both the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone, that if there is to be an end to impunity, if there is to be national reconciliation, and if peace and security are to be restored, it is essential that there be a credible system of justice and accountability for the very serious crimes that were committed in Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996.

Now that the Court is established and trials are about to begin, the Member States of the United Nations should live up to their responsibility and ensure that the Court has the resources it needs to do its invaluable work. The Court, for its part, must complete its work expeditiously and, in so far as it is possible, within its three-year mandate.

I would like to extend to the President of the Court, the judges and the Court’s other members my best wishes for success in the difficult work ahead. Your efforts matter greatly not only to Sierra Leone, but to the international community as a whole. In your rulings and convictions lie the capacity to advance the cause of international criminal justice, to uphold the principles of responsibility and accountability, and to build up a deterrent that could keep other military and political leaders from directing and committing atrocities in the future.

But ultimately, as its name indicates, this is a Special Court for Sierra Leone. As such it is a vital part of the healing process following a tragic and devastating period of conflict. By contributing to a process that establishes justice and the rule of law, it can play a significant role in creating a better future for all the country’s people. Let us all do our part to ensure the success of this important endeavour.

Statement
by
The Representative of the Secretary-General,
Mr. Hans Corell, the Legal Counsel of the United Nations

at
the Opening of the buildings of the Special Court for Sierra Leone
Freetown, 10 March 2004

Mr. President,
Mr. Vice-President,
Mr. Attorney-General and Minister of Justice,
Members of the Special Court,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentleman,

I have now delivered the Secretary-General’s message. Allow me a few personal remarks.

It gives me great pleasure to be here today to witness the opening of the court house for the Special Court for Sierra Leone. I was last in Sierra Leone just over two years ago, on 16 January 2002. On that day, I had the honour to sign with H.E. Solomon Berewa – then Attorney General, now Vice-President – the Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone on the Establishment of the Special Court.

Much has been achieved here since that time. The opening of the buildings that we celebrate today is an important milestone, marking not only the achievements of those who have worked tirelessly to set up this Court. It also symbolizes the important work which is to follow in this new court house.

I would like to give thanks and recognition, in particular, to the work of Justice Geoffrey Robertson QC, the President of the Court, for his leadership in the Chambers of the Court; to David Crane, the Prosecutor, for the work of his Office and the Investigations Unit; to Robin Vincent, the Registrar of the Court, for all the work that he has done to ensure that the Court is up and running today; and to all those others involved in the setting up of the Court, the Witness Protection Unit and the Outreach Unit. We also thank UNAMSIL for its invaluable assistance, and we are grateful for the support and guidance of the Management Committee, some of whose members are here today.

It is also important to recognize that the establishment and operation of the Special Court is not taking place as an isolated event. Rather it is part of a process to establish justice and the rule of law in Sierra Leone, with roles to be played by both the international community and the people of Sierra Leone. As the Secretary-General mentioned, the Court is a common endeavour between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone, and in this respect I wish to thank the President, Vice President, and Attorney-General of Sierra Leone who are present here today, as well as many other Sierra Leoneans, for their continued co-operation, support and guidance in the establishment of the Special Court.

I would also like to draw attention to the complementary role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose work is also supported by the United Nations. As I pointed out in January 2002, the Commission seeks to address impunity, to respond to the needs of victims, to promote healing and reconciliation, and to prevent a repetition of the violations and abuses suffered.

As I said earlier, the opening of the buildings also marks the work which is to be performed in the future – not only by the officials of the Court, but by the people of Sierra Leone in building a better future for this country.

The Court is now ready to start its work. This building, with its two trial chambers balanced to replicate the scales of justice, is a symbol of not only what has been achieved, but also for the potential of this Court. It is hoped that it will leave a legacy of justice and of the rule of law for years to come after the Special Court has fulfilled its mandate.

We hope that the Special Court, which is a different type of model to that of the other international tribunals and the first of its kind, will prove to be an exemplary model – and one that it will be efficient and expeditious. We hope that the accused awaiting trial in custody can be brought before the Court without delay, that trials will commence forthwith, and that both trial chambers will be fully operational very soon. We hope that the Court will be able to complete its work within its three year mandate, which at this stage is expected to be the end of 2005.

The Court is now ready to commence its work. I wish to express my support for all those involved in the work of the Court, in particular the Judges. As Judges of the Special Court, you bear the ultimate responsibility to help ensure that the perpetrators of crimes are brought to justice and so to contribute to the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in Sierra Leone. In discharging this trust, you offer help to future generation – a hope that no more may those whose deeds offend the conscience of mankind go unpunished, and that, in the affairs of men and women of all nations, the rule of law may prevail.

May the Special Court for Sierra Leone serve as an important contribution to the healing process that this beautiful country must undergo to create a better future for those who live here.

Thank you for your attention.

COURTESY : PETER ANDERSEN

Special Court for Sierra Leone Officially Opens New Courthouse

Wednesday, March 10th, 2004

special-court-sierra-leone

Special Court for Sierra Leone

Press and Public Affairs Office

PRESS RELEASE

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 10 March 2004

Special Court for Sierra Leone Officially Opens New Courthouse

A new era of justice officially began in Freetown today as members of the national and international community gathered for the official opening of the new Courthouse of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

The ceremony was held in the nearly-completed courthouse that will provide the venue for trials involving those alleged to bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed during Sierra Leone’s decade long civil war.

After only 18 months, a previously barren 12 acre piece of land has been transformed in to a world-class international court complex with a Detention Facility and offices to accommodate up to 320 staff.

Just five months ago on October 3, 2003 workers began construction of the US$3.4 million Courthouse.

Registrar Robin Vincent said immense progress had been made during the building period as workers laboured day and night to fast-track the building construction time.

“The new courthouse is a monument to justice which will stand long after the work of the Special Court is completed,” Mr. Vincent said.

“The return of the rule of law, the courthouse itself and the experience gained by Sierra Leoneans working at the Special Court will all combine to leave a strong legacy long after the trials are complete.”

Officials from the Court, its sister tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court, the Court’s Management Committee, traditional leaders and government officials from Sierra Leone and abroad, representatives from the United Nations, judges, members of civil society and school children observed today’s opening ceremony.

Mr. Vincent said that for much of the past decade, Sierra Leone had been best known for its brutal war and for the breakdown of its civil society.

“But today, Sierra Leone is being recognised for something else which is for its commitment to the restoration of the rule of law in their country, and for their leadership in promoting international justice ”

APC BACK FROM THE DEAD AS A CREDIBLE FORCE

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

BY KABS KANU : 

They were written off as dead and buried .They were castigated as the one party that no Sierra Leonean will take seriously any more.The opportunistic, thieving old brigade which destroyed the party’s name deserted it like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

ERNESTKOROMABEFOREELECTIONS

ERNEST KOROMA

But give Ernest Koroma, Osman Yansaneh and members of the young brigade all the kudos this morning as the APC  has resurrected from the dead , actualizing the nightmares that its traditional rivals , the SLPP,  had struggled with since it too came back from the dead in 1995.

The APC  may not win the local elections , but what their already stunning showing has clearly demonstrated is that Sierra Leoneans  are on the go once again. Some allegiances and support are shifting from the SLPP back to the very party whose name many of them never wanted to hear years ago. The reasons for the change of mind are rooted in the cruel disappointment the SLPP turned  out to be in power, though many people say that the APC  itself does not need to be trusted.

Since their return in 1996, the SLPP has been a  colossal disaster. Its leadership is one of the most porous this nation has seen, though he is ironically one of the most democratic leaders we have had. . The nation has a leader only in name. President Kabbah is a promising person , but his hands-off policy  and lackadaisical attitude to issues like the suffering of the masses, corruption, the ravages of his cronies and other discredited and recycled politicians and his deaf ears to the clamours of the Hinga Norman supporters have come back to haunt him and the party. The SLPP will suffer a  more regrettable fate in the 2007 Elections , except party they buck up and begin to address the problems of the people.

We hope the young blood in the APC  will waste no time to convince the world that they are far, far better than the corrupt old guards  who damaged the name of the party. We hope they will justify the confidence the nation has reposed in them. They have a huge homework, to overturn the bad reputation given to the party by the old brigade.

The one good reward the nation will harvest from the local elections, whoever wins, is that now Sierra Leone is back again as a country having two powerful political parties contesting for power. And it is hoped that this will make the ruling party sit up and attend to the problems of the people. Power indeed belongs to the people and a politician neglects them at his own peril.