Saturday July 30, 2005
Tamba Borbor reports from Freetown
Two wives and a friend of the AFRC indictees have pleaded guilty before Justice Pierre Boutet. Three of the women- Margaret Fomba Brima, wife of Alex Tamba Brima, Neneh Binta Jalloh wife of Santigie Borbor Kanu, Ester Kamara, friend of Alex Tamba Brima and Anifa Kamara wife of Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara had been standing trial for contempt of court.
According to the statement of offence the, the four women interfered with the prosecution witness TF1-023 who was testifying in the court and was to continue with her evidence on the 9th of March 2005. The witness was categorised as a witness of fact and therefore should enjoy protective measure some of which indicate that the names, address and the whereabouts and other identifications revealing the witness should be sealed. Other documents, which would identify the witness, should be expunged from the court and the defence shall refrain from sharing or disclosing to the public the identification of the witness.
The statement further stated that on the 6th of March Brima Samura an investigator attached to the defence team spoke to the four women and asked them to meet him outside the public gallery, which they did. The investigator according to the statement disclosed the identity of the witness.
On the 9th of March as the witness was being taken away in the tinted vehicle of the Special Court, the ladies spoke in Krio to the witness saying that they knew her name and also where she lives. Further they said they were going to attack her. When asked about her plea Margaret Fomba Brima pleaded guilty.
The Judge questioned her whether there was no force used on her as she had earlier pleaded not guilty and moreover if she understands the consequences as they were not going to call any witness. She explained that she was not forced and that she did it for herself. The same question was posed to Neneh Binta Jalloh and Esther Kamara, as they too pleaded guilty. Anifa was posed with the same question but she maintained the plea of not guilty to the charge. The lawyers for Margaret Fomba Brima, Neneh Binta Jalloh and, Esther Kamara applied for a separate trial for their clients which was granted by the Judge which will commence on the 21st September at 2:30 Pm while the trial for Anifa would resume on the same date but at 9:30