The first accused of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), Issa Hassan Sesay, has filed a document requesting an order to subpoena former president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to give a pre-testimonial interview and after which he will testify in his defence.
According to the document filed to the count by the lead counsel of the accused, Wayne Jordash, the purpose of the evidence of the ex- president is to establish the fact that the accused did not order an attack or coordinate attacks against UNAMSIL troops.
Urging that, “Kabbah has full knowledge of the innocence of Issa Sesay in this regard; he has refused to cooperate and ought in the interest of justice be compelled.”
It was further stated that during the incarceration of Foday Sankoh, by the Sierra Leone government, Issa Sesay directed all activities of the RUF and thereafter maintained the continuance of the widespread attacks during relevant time as stated in the indictment.
The defence argued that Issa Sesay did not plan, instigate, order, commit, or otherwise be in the planning, preparations, or execution of any of the alleged crimes against the UNAMSIL troops and also the accused did not fail to prevent or punish any subordinate for any of the aforementioned crimes.
The defence also submitted that the accused played no role in the attacks on the UNAMSIL troops within the northern region, stressing that during these attacks Mr Sesay was located within the Koidu axis when news of the attack was made known to him and he had to travel to Makeni to ascertain the security situation.
“Mr Sesay was not acting on the orders of either Foday Sankoh or any other superior authority when he took charge of the UNAMSIL troops within the Makeni axis nor when he removed them safely of Kono.
The Issa Sesay defence also submitted on the issue of the evidence of the former president, they stressed that the president knew there was a deliberate governmental/United Nations policy to ensure that Foday Sankoh could not give orders to any RUF commander nor to Johnny Paul Koroma concerning what should happen to the UNAMSIL troops or RUF activities in the country as it was alleged by the prosecution in the indictment.
“So [ex-president] Kabbah knows Issa could not have taken orders from Foday Sankoh at this time or during the remainder of the indictment period. Hence Mr Sesay could not have been receiving orders to continue any widespread attacks between April and 15th September 2000,”the defense team stated.
Due to all of these factors, Issa Sesay’s defence stated further that there was every need for the former president to testify on behalf of the accused.
It was revealed also that the defence has made several attempts to meet with ex-president Kabbah but to no avail.
It will be recalled that this is not the first request made a Special Court indictee to subpoena ex-president Kabbah. The first was made by late Hinga Norman, first accused of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF), and the second accused Moinina Fofanah and now Issa Sesay. By Betty Milton