Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Penfold decries British Government over Norman

Former British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone Peter Penfold, has criticised the British government for citing Sierra Leone as one of its foreign policy successes while grave injustice reigns in the country.

Citing the case of the unexpected death of Chief Sam Hinga Norman, he said the late man ‘is regarded as the real hero who helped restore peace and democracy to Sierra Leone. His arrest and incarceration for the past four years by the UN’s special war crimes court has been a grave injustice’.

Penfold, was British envoy at the time of the overthrow and restoration of the deposed government of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in 1998. He was writing in a letter published in the Times in London last week. He is the architect of the re-imposition of the Kabbah government for which he paid dearly with his job.

Norman’s death he said ‘is not only a great loss to his family, his friends, and his country, but also a tragedy for all those who not only talk about peace and democracy but are prepared to fight and die for these causes.’

Peter Penfold, who is a lover of Sierra Leone, is currently in the country to oversee preparations for the forthcoming trip to the UK and Gibralta of the choir of the Milton Margai School for the Blind. He is the chairman of the school’s UK Association charity. His visit coincided with the death of the late Chief Norman whom he visited in prison on all the occasions he visited the country in the past three years.

Meanwhile, we are reliably informed that, the autopsy on the body of the late chief Norman, to ascertain the cause of death was carried out yesterday Monday 5th March. The result is due today. The body is expected to be flown to Freetown this week to be followed by the burial. We will keep readers posted.

Link to Christian Monitor - Penfold decries British Government over Norman