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After Inner City Press Reports Sierra Leone UN Mission Decay Now Motion for Default 7 Days

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 14 – Sierra Leone's Mission to the United Nations has been sued for "posing an immediate danger [with] mold and vermin infestation." Inner City Press first reported the case on May 21, 2021 and it has since been picked up.

The Sierra Leonean Mission is at 245 East 49th Street, right near the United Nations which also poses dangers, in its impunity.  Inner City Press live stream here.

Now Inner City Press reports, in May 2024, that Sierra Leone stopped paying or communicating with its lawyers at Foley Hoag, who on May 8 withdrew, see below.

  Then from Freetown, this: "The Commissioner explained that the investigations revealed that an initial Two Million Five Hundred and Sixty US Dollars (USD 2,560,000.00) was approved for the refurbishment of the building around 2012. He said a Procurement Unit was formed in New York during the stewardship of the then Ambassador Vandi Minah to ensure that procedures were complied with. This followed quotations received from newspapers in the US to invite bidders and bids were received with the highest being Eighteen Thousand US Dollars (USD 18,000) from the New York Times and the lowest was One thousand one hundred and fifty-five US Dollars( USD 1,155.00) from Sunday Metro.  ..Yet the Government of Sierra Leone signed the contract represented by the then Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Adikalie Foday Sumah,” he said.  Commissioner Kaifala said immediately after the signing of the contract, the sum of One Million US Dollars ($1,000,000.00) was remitted into the mission’s building account in Citi Bank in New York... The Commissioner said the the ACC had concluded therefore that the transactions surrounding the contract are fraudulent and did not follow due process, thus all involving parties will be held accountable. It is in this regard he stated that the Commission, during the course of the investigations, interrogated a number of persons of interest, including former Permanent Representative to the UN Dr. Alie Kabba, former Minister of Development Dr. Francis Kaikai, the Accountant General Richard Solomon Ralph Williams, former Ministers of Foreign Affairs Nabeela Tunis and Dr Samura Kamara, former Director General of the Ministry and current and former Heads of Chancery, among others. He said, based on the investigations, not less than six people, including the contractor, will be indicted by the Commission for their various roles in the misappropriation of funds, which has caused an embarrassment to the country, as the State has been sued by neighbors of the country’s UN House in New York as result of this project."

And now, a request to add two more parties to the lawsuit. Sierra Leone's Mission to the corrupt UN is due October 4. Watch this site.

  On June 4, not the Mission but contractor Empire Group NYC, LCC made a number of proposals, including cleaning up the Mission's debris. The cover letter says, "as soon as the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United [Nations] appears in the case, the Court should schedule a prompt return date for its response to the OTSC issued by the Court."

On July 26 an emergency hearing was sought as Sierra Leone's UN mission and its contractors refuse to comply with an order, for example: "Remove all debris from inside the Mission that pose an ongoing fire hazard... The Mission's lawyers have refused to take additional photographs or any any inspection of the Mission on purported grounds of Sierra Leone's national security."

And the response on July 27 confirmed: "The Mission has imposed certain restrictions on access to and documentation from within the Mission, as referenced in the Plaintiffs' Letter, citing national security grounds." Sounds like the corrupt UN-world of Guterres, still banning Press.

So does this invocation of impunity: on August 20, Sierra Leone's lobbying firm put in a letter that argues that its decrepit, nuisance "diplomatic premises are inviolable as a matter of federal and international law." Tony's law - beat up the press, kill with cholera, leave garbage everywhere, and cite immunity. Will it work?

  After Inner City Press exclusively reported on this case, and was contacted by media in Sierra Leone, now the Foreign Ministry has issued a two page press release saying it has been directed to our media report, and calling it misleading and inaccurate.

 While unlike the even more corrupt UN of Antonio Guterres, who rather than respond to questions using UN Security to rough up and ban the Press that asks them, the Ministry has spoken, it does not stand up. Just consider the photos of how they left the site of their "Chancery."

And they do not specify what they say the US State Department did not do. (Inner City Press got answers from the State Department on May 27, here, but has not yet asked about this, since it didn't know of the Ministries response until May 28).

 The pickers-upper also note that Sierra Leone's government transferred some $3.2 million to their UN Mission in New York, including "5-Sep-19 FT1924808290 Outward Swift Payment 9,329,999,975.14," the spending of which remains unclear given the conditions of the "Chancery." There's also the IMF's March 15, 2021 OK-ing of $50.37 million to Sierra Leone under its Rapid Credit Facility. We aim to have more on this. Watch this site.

 Next door neighbors have sued the Mission in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which Inner City Press while banned from the UN by Antonio Guterres now covers daily.

  The complaint identifies Sierra Leonean diplomats' "failure to follow basic fire-prevention protocols... creating an opportunity for flying debris, fire and other dangers."  

The SDNY docket reflects that, of the complaint, "service was accept by Fatima (F/B 40-49 years old, 5'4" tall, 140 pounds with black hair and brown eyes) who advised at the time of service that she is authorized to accept on behalf of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the UN." 

  On May 27, the SDNY's Deputy Clerk certified serving the country's foreign minister, pursuant to the Provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 USC 1608(a)(3).

  On November 29, 2021, Sierra Leone's law firm wrote to Judge Ramos that they would like to move to dismiss based on the total immunity of Sierre Leone, no matter what it does.This is the international system / racket under Antonio Guterres.

On June 27, 2022 with the case still going, the Harvey's wrote to Judge Ramos that "a significant rat infestation has invaded the Harvey's home from the headquarters." UNHQ?

On July 1, 2022, Judge Ramos denied Sierra Leone's motion to dismiss: "MOTION to Dismiss filed by Permanent Mission of The Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Nations. The Mission's motion to dismiss is DENIED. The Harvey's motion for contempt and sanctions is DENIED in large part, and the motion for a preliminary injunction is DENIED. The parties are directed to appear for a status conference on July 15, 2022."

In October 2022, Sierra Leone wrote it to "clarify" that it would not even be attending the October 26 status conference, since it got a stay pending appeal to the Second Circuit on the issue of diplomatic immunity. How dangerous could the building get? Judge Ramos conferred with those who did attend, and directed that a proposed case management plan be submitted by October 28.

Jump cut to May 8, 2024 - Judge Ramos granted the request for Foley Hoag to drop Sierra Leone as a client - the firm said Sierra Leone was not paying, and had not even communicated in ten months.

On June 4, despite an order to find new counsel, the Mission's "Minister Counselor" A. Salieu Kamara wrote it asking for an unspecified day to find new counsel. The plaintiffs have proposed a June 14 deadline.

On June 14, Inner City Press covered Sierra Leone's non-appearance, thread:

OK - now case against UN Mission of Sierra Leone, which as Inner City Press exclusively reported left its mission building full of rats and is now absent despite being ordered to appear in court 

Judge: Has Sierra Leone done anything to fix its building?

A: Nothing. Nothing at all. Judge: The Mission is not being used at all? A: Not at all. We are moving for default. The Court has repeatedly told the Mission it must have counsel in this case.

 Plaintiff's lawyer: The Court told the Mission it had to appear in this case. All they did was send a vague letter saying they couldn't comply. They are in contempt of this Court. We move for default. Judge: I'll ask that you do this on papers.

 Judge: This involves intl relations, our government and Sierra Leone. So we need to dot our i's and cross out t's. 

Judge: When will you move by? A: In 7 days. And we'll move for attorneys fees. [But would Sierra Leone pay?]

Dysfunction? Impunity? Or both? This is today's UN World of SG Antonio Guterres.

Letter to withdraw for non payment on Patreon here

 Inner City Press will be following this case, and others of impunity.

The case is Harvey et al. v. Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the UN, et al., 21-cv-4368 (Ramos)



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