Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 January 2016
After spending two nights in the maximum security jail, following the decision of magistrate Seray Wurie to refuse bail, Alie Kabba was today granted a ‘stay of execution’ by the Koroma government.
Will the country’s Attorney General intervene on grounds of ‘nolle prosequi’, now that the case has been committed to the High Court as expected?
Alie Kabba, who is regarded as a political prisoner of conscience by his supporters, has been charged with bigamy, after his divorced wife – the current local government minister Diana Konomanyi, alleged that Alie was still married to his ex-wife in America, when he married Diana in Freetown in 2013.
But family law experts are astonished that Diana’s request for divorce was not based on the allegation of bigamy, an allegation that only surfaced after Alie Kabba publicly announced his intention to contest presidential election in 2018 for the opposition SLPP.
This, supporters say, raises strong suspicion of political victimisation. They are accusing the Koroma government of conjuring up a bogus and trumped up charge of bigamy, simply to deny Alie Kabba his civil liberty and human rights.
Tonight, Alie Kabba is a free man, but at a price. His bail conditions imposed yesterday, which his sureties were unable to meet, have been described by legal experts as unduly draconian and disproportionate, given the lack of risk to public safety and state security attached to the allegation of bigamy.
At Wednesday’s conclusion of preliminary examination of the prosecution’s evidence and the ‘no case to answer’ submission put forward by Alie Kabba’s lawyers, magistrate Seray Wurie concluded that he was satisfied that the matter should now be committed to the High Court for adjudication.
The High Court will look at all the evidence surrounding the two counts charge of bigamy levied against Alie Kabba, in particular, Section 57 of the offences against the person Act of 1861 and Section 2(1) of the perjury Act of 1911.
Magistrate Wurie imposed bail at Le100 million, requiring two sureties who must be residents of the Western Area, above the age of 50 years. Both sureties today surrendered their passports and title deeds to their respective properties located in the Western Area.
Alie Kabba has surrendered his passport and will refrain from travelling out of the country, until the conclusion of the case as required by the terms of his bail.
Speaking for the Alie Kabba Campaign Team, a spokesperson said: “We have all seen with our naked eyes the way Alie Kabba is being treated for a so called ‘bigamy’ allegation. Even without being tried and found guilty, we are clearly seeing the huge arm twisting and iron fist meted out against Alie Kabba.
“We do not need to be political scientists to know the high level politicisation of this newly found political charge. The way and manner in which the presiding magistrate Seray Wurie conducted himself, especially with regards the draconian bail terms, suggests a political ploy to dismantle Alie Kabba’s stance against injustice.
“Alie Kabba will never be given justice in any court of law in Sierra Leone. He is a prisoner of conscience and a political prisoner. The only means by which Alie Kabba will be free from the iron grip of APC is through mass mobilisation and action.”
Alie Kabba was first arrested by the police in Freetown on Christmas Eve and released on Boxing Day. He was rearrested again and taken to the Pademba Road prison before appearing at the magistrate court for preliminary proceedings.
After two appearances at the magistrate court, Alie Kabba was incarcerated behind bars once again, supporters say on orders from above. But according to magistrate Wurie, Alie Kabba had violated his bail conditions.
Alie Kabba is now waiting to appear at the High Court where his supporters expect his evidence to be fully and responsibly examined by a Judge. They are hoping for a fair trial at the High Court.