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“I had married before”

…admits Diana Konomanyi

July 15, 2016 By Regina Pratt

Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Madam Diana Finda Konomanyi, yesterday admitted in court that she had gotten married to one Steven Bockarie Jusu on 12 September, 1989 in London, but divorced him in 1994.

She was testifying in a bigamy matter involving her estranged husband and opposition flag bearer aspirant Allie Kabba, presided over by Justice Miatta Samba in the Freetown High Court.

Led in evidence by Director of Public Prosecution, Suliaman Bah, Madam Konomanyi said in open court that she had tied the knot with Steven Bockarie Jusu, although they divorced in 1994.

She displayed a photocopy of the divorce certificate, with the original copy already part of the court’s records.

Continuing her evidence, the Lands minister explained that remarried on 13 August, 2013 and that she and accused were cautioned by officials at the Office of the Registrar General that it was an offence against the state to enter into a marriage without having divorced your previous spouse.

“We took vows by exchange of rings and a wedding certificate was given to us,” she said. “We signed together with our witnesses at the wedding ceremony.”

The witness further said that in December 2013, “I confronted the accused that he had not divorced his previous relationship. We had a fight over the issue and I invited one of my godparents, Mrs. Zizer Wilson, to our residence at Action Aid Drive, Lumley.”

She testified that Mrs. Wilson asked the accused about the marriage certificate, and that he replied he had something to do with it.

“In December 2015, I made a statement at the Criminal Investigation Department regarding the case between myself and the defendant for which we are in this court,” she said.

In response, defense counsel Francis Ben Kaifala asked for a two week adjournment, which Justice Samba granted.

The matter was adjourned to J28 July, 2016.

Mr Kabbah is standing trial for bigamy and perjury. If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to seven years. He denies the charges though, saying they were politically motivated.

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