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24 May 2004 by -

A start date for the trial of three former leaders of the Civil Defence force (CDF) - Sam Hinga Norman, Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa - has been set for 3 June by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The decision was announced by the trial chamber on 12 May. The CDF was the main armed group fighting for the civilian government of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, president-elect of Sierra Leone since 1996. The trial has been one of the most eagerly awaited by Sierra Leoneans, many of whom see Hinga Norman, who was Minister of the Interior at the time of his arrest a year ago, as a national hero.

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25 July 2005 by -

On 14 July, Sierra Leone-born prosecutor Joseph Bangura made a brief statement marking the end of the year-long prosecution phase for the three exmembers of the Civil Defence Force (CDF) before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). In a year peppered with protests and defendants boycotting their trial, the prosecution produced 75 witnesses to testify against CDF coordinator Sam Hinga Norman, director of war Moinina Fofana and High Priest Allieu Kondewa. On 3 June, 2005, Norman wrote a letter to the UN Secretary General, accusing the Court of "bias, injustice and corruption".

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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.

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