Lawyers representing Lebanese businessman Abdul Hamid Hadj Fawaz last month complained the Germany Ambassador of ‘exerting undue pressure on Magistrate Binneh Kamara of court No. 1.’
In a letter written to the Chief Justice and copied the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs Minister, other stakeholders, dated 24th April, Lawyer Adewale Benjamin Samuel Showers claimed ever since German national Dr. Jur Olaf Grabowski was charged with criminal offences, the German Ambassador Wolfgang Wiethoff has had enduring moments witnessing all the sittings, and has for once never absented in court at all.
This, he says, is no doubt an exercise by the German Ambassador in exerting undue pressure on Magistrate Binneh Kamara, who right from the beginning of the matter has fairly and professionally treated the matter between Abdul Fawaz and accused Olaf Grabowski.
“My lord, I also wish to respectfully bring to your attention the conduct of His Excellency, the German Ambassador in Sierra Leone.
Whilst we appreciate that he is charged with the duty of protecting his citizens’ rights in Sierra Leone, my lord, the Ambassador has made it a point of duty to personally attend all courts sittings since the inception of the aforementioned matter,” the Lawyer stated in his two pages letter to the Chief Justice.
It is true the German Ambassador earlier had paid a courtesy visit on the Chief Justice to make clear his position on the matter between his tribesman Olaf and Lebanese businessman Hadj Fawaz.
It is true Magistrate Binneh Kamara did grant bail to accused Olaf on first court appearance, but has done same in a manner completely stringent, which certainly has seen lawyers representing the accused applying to the High Court for a lessening of bail conditions.
Olaf, who was formerly charged with 17 counts, later saw charges against him surprisingly withdrawn, replaced with 152 counts of fraudulent convertion of one billion eight hundred seventy million seven hundred and one thousand four hundred Leones (Le 1, 870, 701, 400).
Olaf earlier has spent days at the Central Maximum Prison for not meeting stiff bail conditions in the dropped 17 count charges matter.
The German Ambassador’s presence in court in almost all the sittings has been viewed as Germany’s concerns and pursuits for justice for their national.
That his promised presence is meant to also monitor the proceeding and report to his home country in Germany on developments in the matter as they unfold.
It is also viewed that even though lawyers representing Fawaz have accused the German Ambassador of exerting undue pressure on Magistrate Binneh Kamara, the Ambassador has vowed monitoring the entire proceeding and will at all times witness the proceeding until the matter finishes.
Some legal luminaries say it is no wrong having the Ambassador monitor a case against his tribesman as long as such has no prejudice to fair trial.