cdf

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07 June 2004 by Thierry Cruvellier and Kelvin Lewis

Freetown, 3 June 2004. All the signs pointed to a smooth opening day in the trial of Sam Hinga Norman, national coordinator of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF), his number two, Moinina Fofana, and Allieu Kondewa, responsible for initiation ceremonies for the pro-government militia.

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21 May 2007 by KELVIN LEWIS

A ten-minute preliminary statement by key defendant Sam Hinga Norman, national coordinator of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) from 1997 to 2002, kicked off the trial proper of the former CDF leaders in Freetown.

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18 October 2004 by Thierry Cruvellier

For those who have followed the tribulations of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for almost three years, its official report, which was published on 5 October, constitutes a small miracle. No one could have predicted such a logically structured, abundantly detailed, and well-written report two years ago when the Commission almost dissolved itself through sheer negligence. Even a year ago when the report was first due out, hopes for a turnaround were not high.

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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.

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07 February 2005 by KELVIN LEWIS

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.

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13 March 2006 by KELVIN LEWIS

Samuel Hinga Norman is currently the most well-known defendant standing trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He is also the most controversial. Three years after his arrest, the former head of the Civil Defense Forces (CDF) kicked off his defense with some high caliber witnesses.

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10 September 2007 by Tim Kelsall

Trial Chamber One at the Special Court for Sierra Leone issued its judgment in the controversial Civil Defense Forces (CDF) case on August 2. High Priest Allieu Kondewa and Director of War Moinina Fofana were acquitted of crimes against humanity and found guilty of war crimes. But the meaning of this trial really centered on its primary defendant: Chief Samuel Hinga Norman, former National Coordinator of the CDF, who died six months ago in the midst of judicial deliberations.

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22 October 2007 by Thierry Cruvellier

You committed horrible crimes, but your struggle was legitimate and that makes a difference. That is essentially what the judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone said on October 9 when they sentenced two leaders of the former Civil Defense Forces (CDF), high priest Allieu Kondewa and war director Moinina Fofana to 7 and 8 years in prison. They had been found guilty of war crimes on August 2. This delicate judgment, which was part of the debate during the presidential campaign, gave validity to the notion that fighting for the return to democracy is not the same as fighting against it.