- By Brian Davies
On August 13th 2016 an online newspaper called Sierra Leone Telegraph published an article titled “Big blow for Sierra Leone ruling APC as case against opposition politician Alie Kabba crumbles”.
The article is full of propaganda materials, lies and what is normally referred to as Yellow Journalism, in complete disregard for the rules governing court reporting.
The following are some examples of the lies published:
1. That the government witness in the matter, Minister Diana Konomanyi was proved not to be credible
2. That the proceedings is a ‘politically motivated court room drama’ and
3. That Alie Kabba’s defence lawyer, Ben Kaifala produced the knockout evidence that Alie Kabba had been declared divorce by a court in America before he married Diana Konomanyi.
These published lies and propaganda are completely different from what happened in court.
Yes the Honourable Minister’s credibility was put to the test and she was proven to be forthright and truthful as all her responses to questions put to her during cross examination were in tandem with what she said under oath during preliminary investigations in Magistrate court.
Alie Kabba’s media handlers are looking for public sympathy so they have continuously portrayed the matter as “politically motivated” but to dismiss the court proceedings as ‘politically motivated court room drama’is to disrespect the Honourable Judge presiding over the matter.
Alie Kabba’s defence lawyer, Ben Kaifala did not produce no such ‘knockout evidence’ as stated by the Sierra Leone Telegraph. Instead Ben Kaifala had to be nudged by Lawyer Napoleon, a member of his team, to abandon his line of questioning because the evidence in it not only made Alie Kabba uncomfortable and sent him on the verge of getting a heart attack but would also expose him more.
In the said article, it was indicated that the minister appeared ‘shell-shocked’ when this vital evidence was revealed in court. This was a big black lie, on the contrary, it was Alie Kabba who almost went into seizure because he knew what that evidence will lead to.
A fictitious Court Reporter, James Sesay, was named in the article as the source of the information and is quoted as saying that “this second round of cross examination of Diana Konomanyi by defense lawyer Francis Ben Kaifala has laid the foundation for the clearing of Alie Kabba of the trumped up bigamy charge.” Well it now appears that the imaginary James Sesay has assumed the role of the judge and is giving judgement on the matter when it is still in court. What rudeness and utter desperation! It is not certain that James Sesay exist, if he does, can the Sierra Leone Telegraph provide his telephone number and address so that he can be contacted to cross check what was attributed to him?
Is this how Alie Kabba’s media handlers plan for him to win the case, by putting out lies and propaganda to the public and pre-empting and prompting the judge?
The most awkward propaganda stunt mentioned in the article is the issue that Diana Konomanyi did not come to court with ‘clean hands’ as she herself had been married at least twice before, and had failed to disclose this to the authorities or to Alie Kabba before they got married. And that she was shown the original marriage certificate that she got married to Stephen Jusu in 1989.
Since the start of this trial, the Honourable minister, Madam Diana Konomanyi was never asked if she had been married before. The day she was asked during cross examination she answered truthfully but that wasn’t the point.
The point is Alie Kabba’s lawyer brought up this issue in court to make it look like “well you too were married before, so what’s the big deal?” The big deal is Diana Konomanyi was married and divorced and she came clean on that but Alie Kabba married Diana Konomanyi when he was still married to another woman in America and whose divorce proceedings were still not concluded. Did he come clean on that?
According to Sierra Leone Law (Alie Kabba and Diana Konomanyi were married under Sierra Leone law) if you are married in church or in the Registry and you are not divorce and you inter into another marriage, you have committed a criminal offence called Bigamy. Alie Kabba committed Bigamy that is why he is in court, pure and simple.
The reference made to the Will County court records by Sierra Leone Telegraph is totally misleading. Even if Alie Kabba’s lawyer presented document indicating he had a Decree Nisi and a verbal divorce document from this American court both Decree Nisi and ‘Decree Verbal’ did not in any way mean he can remarry before a DECREE ABSOLUTE is granted and issued. The last court hearing for the final dissolution of marriage came after August 12, 2013 (the date of Alie Kabba and Diana Konomanyi’s wedding).
See the evidence and you be the judge.