Saturday 13th July 2024

Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone

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2005-02: Independent Counsel v. Margaret Fomba Brima, Neneh Binta Bah Jalloh and Ester Kamara

On 10 March 2005, a witness giving evidence in the AFRC trial with the benefit of protective measures, complained to the Court that, at the conclusion of her evidence the previous day, four persons including the wives of the three defendants had threatened and intimidated her on account of her testimony.

The Judges of Trial Chamber II ordered the Registrar to appoint an independent investigator to investigate Margaret Fomba Brima, Neneh Binta Bah Jallow, Anifa Kamara, Esther Kamara and Brima Samura. Samura, who was attached to the Tamba Brima Defence as an investigator, was alleged to have given the witnesses’s name to the four women.

On 11 March 2005, the Registrar appointed an independent investigator, and on 16 March 2005 the independent investigator submitted his confidential report to Trial Chamber II.

On 29 April 2005, Trial Chamber II issued an order in lieu of an indictment, charging that Margaret Fomba Brima, Neneh Binta Bah Jalloh, Ester Kamara and Anifa Kamara had “knowingly and wilfully interfered with the Special Court’s administration of justice by threatening and intimidating protected witness TF1-023, who had testified and was continuing to testify in a proceeding before the Trial Chamber.”

At their initial appearance on 9 May 2005, all four defendants pleaded not guilty.

On 27 July 2005, Margaret Fomba Brima, Neneh Binta Bah Jalloh and Ester Kamara changed their pleas to guilty. Justice Pierre Boutet, sitting as Single Judge, accepted their pleas and convicted them under Rule 62.

Justice Boutet ordered that Anifa Kamara, who maintained her not guilty plea, be tried separately.

On 21 September 2005 Anifa Kamara informed the Court that she had decided to plead guilty. Justice Boutet accepted her plea and found her guilty pursuant to Rule 62.

Justice Bouteh ordered that a sentencing hearing be held the same day, jointly with all four convicted persons. Justice Boutet sentenced each to a non-custodial sentence with a year of probation.

Magaret Fomba Brima Documents