Truth Commission and Court, a troubled cohabitation

18 October 2004 by our correspondent

The TRC report devotes no less than 60 pages to the turbulent relationship between the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Working in parallel with the TRC, the court is mandated to try a handful of suspects thought to be chiefly responsible for crimes committed during the civil war.

"Although the relationship between the Commission and the Special Court was mostly cordial, tensions arose following the refusal of the Special Court to permit the Commission to hold public hearings with the detainees held in its custody. [...] The decision rejected the right of the detainees to testify in an open and transparent manner before the TRC and denied the right of the Sierra Leonean people to see the process of truth and reconciliation done in relation to the detainees." The report goes into great detail over the conflict that, at the end of 2003, stymied the peaceful cohabitation between the two institutions charged with delivering justice.

The right to truth and respect for amnesty

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