Immediately behind Minister Marafa, pictured to the left above, is Barrister Kofele-Kale in full regalia during the 2012 trial which ended in Marafa’s conviction and corresponding imprisonment for “intellectual complicity” in the misappropriation of public funds.
MW: Barrister Kofele-Kale, thank you for taking time to speak with us about these latest developments of great interest to our supporters. Kindly tell us your thoughts and comments on the Presidential Decree of 18 February 2014 freeing some prisoners.
Kofele-Kale: It was all sound and fury signifying little! Upon close examination the decree appears to have been tailor-made for a small discrete group of prisoners. With an impressive sleight of hand, President Biya freed two out of the many political prisoners languishing in our prisons. Professor Titus Edzoa, his former secretary general and cabinet minister who was also his longtime personal doctor, and Mr. Thierry Atangana, a Franco-Cameroonian, were allowed to step out of the military camp where they had spent the last 17 years of their lives. Various human rights groups, inside and outside Cameroon, repeatedly drew attention to the cruel and inhumane conditions of detention to which these prisoners were subjected. The decision to finally put a stop to this egregious violation of the law of nations to which Cameroon subscribes is to be admired.
MW: Cameroon’s Minister of Communications and Government spokesman has characterized the President’s action as a “humanitarian gesture.” Is it?