Special Court – First Trial to Begin on June 3

Subj: Special Court – First Trial to Begin on June 3 
Date: 5/11/2004 3:30:51 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: SCSL-PressOffice@un.org
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Special Court for Sierra Leone
Press and Public Affairs Office

PRESS RELEASE 
Freetown, Sierra Leone, 11 May 2004

First Trial to Begin on June 3

The joint trial of three alleged former leaders of Sierra Leone’s former Civil Defence Forces (CDF) will begin on 3 June 2004, in accordance with an order signed on Tuesday by Presiding Judge Bankole Thompson for the Trial Chamber.

The CDF trial will be the first of three joint trials currently pending before the Court’s Trial Chamber.

The three accused, Sam Hinga Norman, Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa, face an eight-count indictment for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. 

Charges against the three defendants include unlawful killings, physical violence and mental suffering, looting and burning, terrorizing the civilian population and collective punishments, and the use of child soldiers.

Pursuant to another order of the Trial Chamber, the trial of three alleged leaders of the former Revolutionary United Front (RUF), Issa Hassan Sesay, Morris Kallon and Augustine Gbao, will commence on 5 July 2004.

The accused face an 18-count indictment which includes charges of terrorizing the civilian population and collective punishments, unlawful killings, sexual and physical violence, the use of child soldiers, abductions and forced labour, looting and burning, and attacks on United Nations peacekeepers.

#END

The Special Court is an independent tribunal established jointly by the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone. It is mandated to bring to justice those who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996. To date, the Prosecutor has indicted eleven persons on various charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. Nine indictees are currently in the custody of the Court. 

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