Thursday, March 01, 2007

President Kabbah Regrets Norman’s Death

His Excellency the President Dr. Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah has said up in Bo, Southern Sierra Leone that he deeply regrets the death of Chief Sam Hinga Norman. Late Hingha Norman The President made this statement last Saturday 24th February 2007 during the conferment of degrees and award of diplomas, certificates and other distinctions to graduands of the Njala University College. According to the President, he was on his way to Kambia on an official duty when he had a call telling him about Norman’s death. He expressed how saddned he was to hear of such a report whilst assuring that the late man was not only a friend and brother to him but a truly patriotic citizen of the country with prominent positions attained. According to Pa Kabbah, Hinga Norman was arrested due to his indictment by the special court. He said he was unaware of the arrest until later when the former Inspector General of Police, Keith Biddle called at his office to inform him. The President said that the Special Court is an independent body over which was had no political influence. President Kabbah explained that to maintain the country’s image, nothing could have been done by the Government about the indictment. The President further informed that as a sign of how committed he was to the late man, as soon as Keith Biddle informed him, he immediately called on Hinga Norman’s wife to descuss matters about her husbands arrest. According to Pa Kabbah, Madam Norman explained her plight to him stating that the arrest was untimely as her husband left nothing at home to sustain the family. President Kabbah elaborated further that he immediately dispatched food and money to continue to take care of herself and the Norman family. Meanwhile as they were waiting for further judgement from the Special Court over Normans indictment, the Special Court informed the government that the late man was sick and should be taken to Senegal for hip replacement operation which operation, the president said was done successfully only for them to be informed two weeks later of the very sad news that his friend and brother, Hinga Norman had died in hospital. President Kabbah described the hospital where Hinga Norman died as one of the most renowned hospitals in Senegal where most of the Ministers and other prominent people go for medical check up. In an emotional mood that was sad but at the same time strict, Pa Kabbah said he wanted to warn all Sierra Leoneans that Hingha Norman did not die as war criminal and therefore anyone who was caught describing the late man in such terms could be prone to prosecution for which the President stated that if such persons were found guilty, the law will heavily deal with them for defaming the late man’s name. The President asked for the late man’s soul to rest in peace and at this juncture President Kabbah commanded all those present to observe a one minute silent prayer for the late man. He assured of his Government’s fullest support for the Norman family at this difficult time of theirs. He informed that a Government representative will witness the post-mortem to ascertain the cause of death of the late Hinga Norman. Link to Awareness Times