Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 August 2016
There was more drama at the High Court in Freetown on Thursday, as the credibility of the government’s main witness – Lands Minister Diana Konomanyi, in its bigamy case against opposition leader – Alie Kabba, takes another tumble.
For the first time in this politically motivated court room drama, Alie Kabba’s lawyers have produced the knockout evidence, showing that Alie Kabba had been declared divorced by a court in America, before marrying Diana Konomanyi.
The ‘kiss and tell’ minister appeared shell-shocked, when this vital evidence was revealed in court. Many now believe that, this marks the prelude to the closing of a political ‘red curtain’ on a matrimonial case that ought not to have got this far.
Court room reporter – James Sesay is in no doubt 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.
By the end of Thursday’s proceedings, lawyer Kaifala was able to point out to the packed court room 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. Diana was shown the original marriage certificate stating that she got married to Stephen Jusu in 1989.
Lawyer Kaifala also showed that Diana Konomanyi has committed several perjury related offences, when she lied on oath that she had never been married before, and making false declaration to the Registrar-General before marrying Kabba.
Diana confirmed this when the records were shown to her. Bigamy offence carries seven years imprisonment.
Diana Konomanyi did not have knowledge of the fact that the Will County Court in the USA had orally dissolved Alie’s marriage to his first wife, and this was on record. She said she was surprised to find this out in court, when lawyer Kaifala gave her the document to read out loud.
It was also proven that Diana lied to the public, when she declared in a live interview on radio 98.1 in 2015, that her marriage to Kabba lasted for only one month, after changing her statement in court last Thursday.
It is now clear that Diana had not seen the Will County Court Records showing that Alie Kabba was already divorced from her previous wife, when she made false allegation to the police in Freetown that led to his arrest and charges of bigamy brought against him.
Diana was asked whether she received legal advice about US divorce laws, before making her allegations of bigamy to the police. She said she did not consult a lawyer.
In reply, lawyer Kaifala said that had she sought legal advice, she would not have gone to the police with her allegations.
The case was adjourned by Justice Miatta Samba to Thursday, 18th August 2015, when prosecuting lawyers are expected to conclude proceedings.