A trial of legal principle?
The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) Appeals Chamber upheld sentences for three former RUF leaders on October 26th. Wayne Jordash was lead defence counsel for Issa Hassan Sesay who received a sentence of 52 years. He spoke to IJT’s Karl Dowling.
In upholding the RUF judgement, the court dismissed 96 defence grounds for appeal. Why was that?
We hoped that the appeal chamber would take some action, but in large part the grounds were simply ignored. In the most significant instance in relation to Mr. Sesay, an annex which was attached to the grounds of appeal, containing 300 new or amended charges that had been disclosed to the defence throughout the prosecution case was simply dismissed because the appeals chamber argued that we had gone over the page limit.