All defendants boycott trials at special court
The youthful interim leader of the former Rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) movement, the self-styled General Issa Sesay, has ordered his former battle group commander Morris Kallon to join him and all the other defendants in the ongoing war crimes trials in Sierra Leone to boycott court hearings.
Over the last few years, speed and firmness have been the official watchwords at hearings before the Arusha Tribunal. Yet, both are sorely lacking in Military II trial which involves the former chief of staff of the army, General Augustin Bizimungu, the former chief of staff of the gendarmerie, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, the former commander of the reconnaissance battalion Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, and his second in command, Captain Innocent Sagahutu.
Milosevic in self defence
Slobodan Milosevic sounded almost jubilant when he called two French witnesses, both former UNPROFOR members sympathetic to the suffering of the Serb people. Nurse Eve Crepin's testimony was so general that presiding judge Patrick Robinson dismissed it as "a conversation with a cup of tea on the veranda". But her partner, former army doctor Patrick Barriot, gave evidence that sparked intense questioning from both prosecutors and judges.
Guantanamo trials in deadlock
Three years after the creation of the Guantanamo prison, the 550 detainees in the war on terrorism risk filling up American courtrooms. Lawyers and human rights activists are attacking every aspect of the legal strategy set up by the American administration to try so-called enemy combatants. In such a context, the next few months will prove critical for the success or failure of the military commissions.